New grants available to business, some existing closing soon
Throughout the course of 2020-21, the Federal and State Governments have put forward a series of grants to help businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic and thrive in our recovery. Make sure your business has taken advantage of all the opportunities and support that is on offer.
Circuit Breaker Action Business Support Package
The Victorian Government has recently announced a further $143 million package to support eligible businesses impacted by the circuit breaker action to limit the spread of COVID-19. There are four initiatives available for eligible businesses as part of this support package:
1. Business Costs Assistance Program
The new Business Costs Assistance Program helps eligible businesses with costs incurred as a result of the circuit breaker action. Eligible businesses and sole traders with an annual payroll of up to $3 million can receive a one-off grant of $2,000.
Further information, including eligibility criteria and program guidelines, will be published soon on the Business Victoria website.
2. Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund – Circuit Breaker Action Payment
Eligible businesses who received a grant through the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund will receive a further one-off payment of $3,000 to help with costs incurred as a result of the circuit breaker action. Businesses that receive this payment will not be eligible to receive a grant from the Business Costs Assistance Program.
Businesses do not need to apply for this payment. Business Victoria will contact eligible businesses with further information.
3. Victorian Accommodation Support Program
The Victorian Accommodation Support Program is an expansion of the Regional Tourism Accommodation Support Program and includes tourist accommodation premises in Greater Melbourne.
The Program supports tourism accommodation providers with a grant of one of two tiers of support for those with demonstrated booking cancellations between Friday 12 February and Wednesday 17 February 2021:
- Tier 1: Funding of $2250 (ex GST) per Accommodation Premises experiencing 10 or fewer cancelled nights.
- Tier 2: Funding of $4500 (ex GST) per Accommodation Premises with 11 or more cancelled nights.
The Victorian Accommodation Support Program will open soon. Register your interest in this program via the Business Victoria website now.
4. Travel Voucher schemes
The Regional Travel Voucher Scheme has been expanded with an additional 10,000 vouchers to support travel in regional Victoria.
A new Melbourne Travel Voucher Scheme with 40,000 vouchers to support travel in greater Melbourne will be available soon.
Small Business Digital Adaption Program
The Small Business Digital Adaption Program is open to Victorian businesses and sole traders to build their digital capability through off-the-shelf digital programs and workshops designed to help adapt to online operations.
Registrations for digital product trials and workshops will remain open until 28 February 2021. Businesses must register before the trial period closes on 28 February 2021. Rebates are available until 31 March 2021. Further information on the program guidelines and the program are available via the Business Victoria website.
Creative Workers Fund
The Creative Workers Fund supports Victorian individual creative practitioners, collectives, groups, businesses or organisations that are seeking funding for a range of creative projects. This can include collaborating with creative and non-creative personnel (such as technicians, publicists etc). Applications close 25 February 2021.
Further information is available via the Creative Victoria website.
The Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme
Extended until the 28 March 2021, under this scheme, commercial landlords are required to provide rent relief that matches their eligible tenant’s fall in turnover, and rent increases and evictions are banned. Further information on these changes, and the process for applying including a templated letter that a tenant can send to their landlord to request rent relief, is available from the Victorian Small Business Commissioner’s website.
The Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund Round 2
Extended until the 28 March 2021, Grants of up to $3,000 per tenancy are available to eligible small landlords who reduce commercial rent for their tenants under Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme requirements. Further information is available from the Business Victoria website.
Recycling Victoria Business Support Fund
The Recycling Victoria Business Support Fund is open for individual applicants or collaborative partnerships to investigate and implement how to adapt and apply circular economy business opportunities and approaches.
Applications for stream 1 and 2 close Friday 12 March 2021. Further information is available via the Circular Economy Business Innovation Centre website.
Further information is available via the Business.gov website.
The Business Events Grants Program
Applications are open until the 30 March 2021 for the Business Events program which will support Australian businesses by providing grants between $10,000 and $250,000. Grant funding will cover up to 50 per cent of costs incurred in participating at pre-approved business to business events as buyers or sellers during the 2021 calendar year.
Businesses applying for a grant will also need to demonstrate alignment with a priority sector and that the sector benefits from attendance and participation in the event. Further information including the priority sector list is available via the Austrade website.
The Modern Manufacturing Initiative
The Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI) is open. Funding is now available for the Space sector, with additional sectors (e.g. food and beverages and medical products) being added in coming weeks.
As the centrepiece of the Australian Government’s Modern Manufacturing Strategy (MMS), the MMI is now open providing co-funding for manufacturing projects across 2 of the 3 targeted manufacturing streams:
- Manufacturing translation stream: this stream helps Australian manufacturers translate high quality research and ideas into commercial outcomes
- Manufacturing integration stream: this stream helps Australian manufacturers to access domestic and global supply chains and produce and distribute quality products and high value services into them
Australian Government funding will be provided on a co-investment basis and will cover up to 50 per cent of project costs.
The funding opportunity supports the government’s six National Manufacturing Priorities. Eligibility expands with the release of each area’s road map, starting with space. Further information including how to apply is available via the above links on the Business Victoria website.
The Building Better Regions Fund
Closing on 5 March 2021, the $1.04 billion Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) supports the Australian Government’s commitment to drive economic growth and build stronger regional communities into the future. For Round Five, there is a total of $200 million available, with $100 million dedicated to tourism-related infrastructure projects. Further information is available via the Business.gov website.
COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Program
The COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Program is available for travel agents and tour arrangement service providers to support them in dealing with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications are open until the 13 March 2021.
Through the program, eligible businesses will be able to access a one-off grant of $1,500 to $100,000 depending on annual GST turnover in the 2019 calendar year. Further information on the program guidelines and how to apply is available via the Services Australia website.
New Business Assistance with NEIS (New Enterprise Incentive Scheme)
New Business Assistance with NEIS provides support to people interested in starting their own business or who need help to refocus an existing micro-business.
Further information is available via the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website.
Creative Infrastructure Support Program
The Creative Infrastructure Support Program is an open, competitive grant round that provides support towards projects to reopen or adapt existing creative spaces for professional creatives who have been affected by COVID-19 and supports creatives with equipment or rental subsidies. The program is restricted to Victorian sole traders, businesses and Councils in the LGAs identified as having high creative activity and low levels of affordability. These local government areas are: City of Yarra; City of Moreland; City of Port Philip; City of Melbourne; Ballarat City Council; City of Greater Geelong; Mt Alexander Shire; and Surf Coast Shire. Applications close 5pm 22 March 2021.
Further information is available via the Creative Victoria website.
The Creators Fund provides funding for up to six months for creative practitioners to undertake the following activities that will enable career advancement and innovation within the creative industries: intensive creative research and development of new ideas/concepts; practice-based experimentation. Applications can be for solo activity or activity undertaken by small creative collectives/collaborations.
Applications close 5pm 1 March 2021. Further information is available via the Creative Victoria website.
Working for Victoria
The Working for Victoria online jobs platform matches jobseekers who are ready to work with employers seeking a local, job-ready workforce including seasonal labour. Further information including how to register for workers is available via the Jobs Victoria website.
Solar for Small Business Program
The Solar for Small Business Program is due to roll out early in 2021, with 15,000 rebates offered over 3 years. The program will provide eligible small businesses with up to a 50 per cent rebate of the cost of a solar PV system. There will also be an optional loan provided of equal value.
The Victorian Chamber is working with Solar Victoria to the determine eligibility requirements for the program and are eager to engage with businesses to ensure as many members can benefit as possible. If you are interested in the program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information
To access the Victorian Chamber’s guide on grant writing please access our Government Grants page here.
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