A jointly funded package of grants from the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments will support thousands of small and medium-sized businesses through the next six weeks, at which point Victoria is expected to reach 80 percent vaccination.
The funding package of up to $2.27-billion announced today (30 September) by Premier Daniel Andrews, will support businesses most affected by restrictions as Victoria reaches the 70 percent, then 80 percent fully vaccinated thresholds on the state’s Roadmap to Deliver the National Plan.
At these key markers – forecast to be around 26 October and 5 November respectively – dining, entertainment, retail, sport, recreation and other sectors will progressively and safely open.
Support for more than 160,000 businesses
“The package provides businesses with further certainty that support will continue in line with Victoria’s Roadmap. This will see more than 160,000 businesses receive support, ranging from retailers and gyms to hairdressers and hotels – mostly through automatic deposits into their bank accounts,” the Premier said in a statement.
Of these, around 124,000 eligible businesses will receive automatic Business Costs Assistance Program grants ranging from $1,000 to $8,400 per week, rising according to payroll. This will continue until the end of October.
Businesses that remain closed or severely restricted over the first two weeks of November will also receive automatic payments for that period.
More than 9,000 eligible cafes, restaurants, hotels and bars across Victoria will receive automatic Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund payments of between $5,000 and $20,000 per week until the end of October.
Hospitality industry assistance is reduced
Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund payments will continue for the first half of November, set at reduced rates to reflect lower restrictions in place at that stage under Victoria’s Roadmap.
The package will also enable a further 30,000 businesses to receive a one-off $20,000 payment through the Small Business Covid Hardship Fund, taking the number of recipients to 65,000.
“Since late July, the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments have joined forces to allocate $6.6-billion to help Victorian businesses remain viable through lockdown, with automatic payments and grants to help cover wages, rent, utilities and other costs,” the statement said.
“Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said this package comes on top of the Morrison Government’s more than $45-billion in direct economic support to Victorian households and businesses since the start of the pandemic.”