Update: Further business support announced for Victoria

The Victorian Government has announced further support for businesses impacted by the extension of the current lockdown. A press statement is attached. Essentially all programs have been extended for the further two weeks of the lockdown.

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 metropolitan Melbourne receiving payments under this program will automatically receive a further top-up payment of $5,600, being $2,800 per week for the next two weeks. This program is not available to businesses in regional Victoria.

3. Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund

Further automatic payments will be made to businesses in metropolitan Melbourne that have previously received or been approved for grants under this program. They will not be made for venues in regional Victoria.

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. Small Business COVID Hardship Fund

Small businesses 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 – which is an increase from the previous $10,000.

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

The types of businesses that are being targeted by this payment are business that are able to be open but have lost customers due to restrictions, such as takeaway stores located at shopping centres or pharmacists located in the CBD. It was confirmed in a previous press conference that businesses in regional Victoria can be eligible for this payment.

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.