James Merlino - double business support

Lockdown extended: Business support doubled in Victoria

The Victorian Government will double existing business support payments for affected businesses by the extension of the circuit-breaker restrictions.

Victorians are joining together and keeping their doors closed to safeguard the community and the economy in the long run – we appreciate the efforts and sacrifices being made across the state and recognise the real cost of this action for businesses.

Building on the $250.7 million support package announced last Sunday, a new allocation of up to $209.3 million will flow to small and medium-sized businesses, taking the total support package to $460 million.

“Our decisions are guided by the advice of the Chief Health Officer to protect the health and wellbeing of Victorians – as they have been throughout the pandemic” Acting Premier James Merlino has announced.

“This is hard for everyone and this extra support means businesses can be in a position to recover strongly once their doors reopen.”

Up to 90,000 businesses will benefit from the original support. About 70,000 of these businesses located in metropolitan Melbourne will be affected by the extension of restrictions beyond Thursday 3 June and will be eligible for the new support.

Business Costs Assistance Program grants of $2,500 for eligible businesses directly affected by the industry restrictions, including restaurants and cafes, event suppliers, accommodation providers and non-essential retailers, will be doubled to $5,000 for eligible businesses in metropolitan Melbourne.

“We are standing with Victorian businesses and workers – providing them with the support they need to get through this challenging time” Treasurer Tim Pallas said.

Regional businesses that are unable to open due to ongoing restrictions, such as nightclubs and amusement parks, will also be eligible for the extension payment. Metropolitan businesses that will have restrictions eased from Friday will not be eligible for the extension payment.

Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund grants of $3,500 for businesses holding an eligible liquor licence and food certificate will be doubled to $7,000 for eligible businesses in metropolitan Melbourne.

Applications are scheduled to open on Thursday 3 June 2021 – including for regional businesses applying under the original package – and will be open until 11.59pm on Thursday, 24 June 2021. Businesses will only need to fill one application.

Also read: It’s Official: Lockdown extended

The extra allocations take the support for the Business Costs Assistance Program to $370 million and the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund to $70 million. Details on the $20 million Events Support Package for operators in the events industry who have incurred losses due to restrictions will be provided shortly.

“Industry and business have been magnificent contributors to our efforts to combat this virus and they continue to play a leading role” Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Martin Pakula said.

“We know businesses that are currently closed will be counting the days until they can re-open. The efforts of our small business community have been heroic, and we are proud to support them” Minister for Small Business Jaala Pulford said.

The Victorian Government has renewed its request for JobKeeper support for workers from the Commonwealth Government.

Businesses can register their interest in the Business Costs Assistance Program at business.vic.gov.au and will be notified when applications open. Businesses eligible for the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund payment will be emailed directly by Business Victoria with a link to their grant application form.