Update: Further business support announced for regional Victoria

The Victorian Government yesterday announced further business support for regional Victoria as a result of the new lockdown. A press statement is attached. The business support essentially mirrors what has been provided to metropolitan Melbourne for the last few weeks and will apply until 2 September 2021. Even though the lockdown in regional areas will be slightly less than 2 week period up until 2 September 20231 the payments will be made on the basis of a full 2 week period.

The further support announced is as follows:

1. COVID-19 Disaster Payments

COVID-19 Disaster Payments will continue to be made, as follows:

  • Individuals who have lost between 8 and 20 hours of work or a full day of work over 7 days can apply for a payment of $450 per week;
  • Individuals who have lost 20 hours of work or more can apply for a payment of $750 per week;
  • Individuals who receive certain Commonwealth income support payments can apply to receive a $200 Disaster Payment per week where they have lost 8 hours or more of work.

These payments continue to be administered through Services Australia.

2. Business Costs Assistance Program

Businesses in regional Victoria receiving payments under this program will automatically receive a further top-up payment of $5,600 over two weeks, being $2,800 per week.

3. Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund

Automatic payments will be made to businesses in regional Victoria that have previously received or been approved for grants under this program.

Payments will be tiered according to premises capacity, with the following payments made per week:

  • Venues with a patron capacity of up to 99 will receive a $5,000 payment;
  • Venues with a patron capacity of between 100 and 499 will receive a $10,000 payment; and
  • Venues with a patron capacity of more than 500 will receive a $20,000 payment.

4. Alpine Resorts Winter Support Program

This program will provide payments of $5,000, $10,000 and $20,000 per week depending on the business type and location.

At the beginning of the August lockdown, payments of $5,000 were available to off-mountain businesses and payments of $20,000 were available for employing businesses on-mountain. It is expected that current payments will be consistent with this.

More information about this payment can be found on the Business Victoria website.

5. Small Business COVID Hardship Fund

Small businesses in regional Victoria that are not eligible for other grant programs and have experienced a 70% reduction in revenue may be eligible for this payment, which was announced as part of a previous tranche of business support.

Eligible businesses can now receive payments of up to $14,000.

Applications for these grants are now open and can be made through Business Victoria.

As with all ‘top-up’ grants, we suggest that all businesses should internally audit their records to ensure that they are receiving all top-up payments. If there are any irregularities these should be raised with Business Victoria.

This update does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. It is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest and it is not intended to be comprehensive. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content.