Restart package will help businesses recover from lockdowns

The State and Federal Governments have today announced a joint financial assistance package for Victorian business which will give them the support and confidence they need to rebound from Lockdowns Four and Five.


The Victorian Chamber and the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) helped design this latest $400 million support package, which picks up some of the businesses that have missed out on previous grants, provides allocations to some of the hardest hit sectors of tourism and large-scale hospitality and provides a cash injection for CBD businesses to see them through while weekday footfall remains low due to work from home orders.

This is the third tranche of business support for Lockdown Four and Five and takes the total allocation to $890 million. This latest allocation, the largest to date, includes:

  • $156m Business Continuity Fund (for businesses who received grants under the last two business support packages). As part of this fund, CBD businesses will be eligible for an additional $2000;
  • $85m Small Business COVID-19 Hardship Fund for those who didn’t receive grants under the last two packages and are able to demonstrate a reduction in turnover of 70 per cent or more;
  • $80m Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme;
  • $70m Licensed Hospitability Fund for larger venues impacted by density limits. Those in the CBD may be eligible for an additional $2000 top up;
  • Alpine business support of $9.8m.

The Victorian Chamber has consistently advocated for more support to help with commercial rent and other costs, and also deal with the exclusion of businesses directly and indirectly impacted by restrictions from support based on industry classification. Today’s package reflects our strong advocacy on these issues. We will continue to advocate for an events support package to reflect the challenging the industry is facing.

To be attributed to Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Paul Guerra:

“The Victorian Chamber, with AHA, is delighted to have laid the foundation for this historic business support package which will enable businesses to restart out of Lockdowns Four and Five. For many, it will give them the cash injection and confidence they need to flip the sign from closed to open.

“We have been in discussions with government – morning, noon and night – to provide input into Victoria’s first co-funded COVID-19 business support package and the respective Minsters have been prepared not only to listen, but also to act.

“None of us wanted to be in lockdown, but Victorian businesses should feel buoyed by the support from both their Federal and State Governments to see them through the current climate when their emotional and financial reserves have been drained.

“Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, State Treasurer Tim Pallas, Minister Pakula and Minister Pulford have been particularly consultative and proactive in building this package to support the businesses that need it most. It feels like a real Victorian effort and is welcomed by VCCI and the business community."

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