In light of the return to Stage 3 Stay at Home Restrictions, the Victorian Government announced a $534 million Business Support Package after close consultation with the Australian Hotels Association (Vic) and the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Treasurer, Tim Pallas, stated the return to Stage 3 restrictions “is a blow for the Victorian economy and our hard-working businesses” as the announcement reflects the latest support measures, on top of the $6 billion in economic relief already invested since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Business Support Fund has expanded to more than 80,000 eligible businesses, who can access a new $5,000 grant to support them throughout restrictions.
A $40 million capped fund will be provided for regional tourism businesses to cover the cost of refunds, including region to region marketing campaign throughout the Melbourne lockdown.
Outlining that the hospitality industry has been the hardest hit, the support package will dedicate $30 million for businesses within the industry. Along with a $20 million CBD, Business Support Fund for small businesses who have sustained shock to their trading environments.
The government has also established a $26 million fund to cover mental health support for Victorians who are facing the challenges of running a small business throughout the pandemic, in addition to $10 million for a business mentoring program.
Businesses will also benefit from extended and expanded payroll tax deferrals. Eligible businesses with payrolls up to $10 million can defer their liabilities for the first half of the 2020/21 financial year.
Further details outlining how each fund will be spent is expected in the coming week.