Victorian government ‘Circuit Breaker Business Support Package’ on offer for businesses in lockdown.
Victorian businesses are going about their business of doing the right thing — closing their doors during the latest COVID lockdown — to keep Victorians safe. There is no denying, however, it is another whack in the back for many struggling to keep their businesses afloat and financially viable.
The Victorian government said it is backing those businesses most affected this time around, which includes operators in the hospitality, retail, events and creative industries with further targeted support.
In response, the Victorian government has announced a $250.7 million Circuit Breaker Business Support Package to help up to 90,000 Victorian businesses that have been affected by the restrictions that will run until 11.59pm on Thursday, 3 June.
The package features three initiatives for small- to medium-sized businesses and sole traders.
Acting Premier James Merlino said he knows businesses are doing it tough, but the lockdown is necessary.
“The circuit-breaker action will keep Victorians safe and protect businesses and jobs — but we know it’s not easy shutting your doors and putting your plans on hold,” the acting Premier said.
“This support will help businesses pay the bills and maintain their workforce as best they can, as we work together to get through this challenge.”
Minister for Small Business Jaala Pulford said: “Small businesses are crucial to our economy and, beyond dollars and cents, important contributors to local communities — we’re proud to stand with them and their workers.”
The $190.01 million second round of the Business Costs Assistance Program will offer grants of $2,500 for eligible businesses directly affected by the circuit-breaker industry restrictions, including restaurants and cafés, event suppliers, accommodation providers and non-essential retailers.
A $40.7 million new round of the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund will provide businesses holding an eligible liquor licence and food certificate with a $3,500 grant per premises.
An allocation of $20 million will be dedicated to supporting operators in the events industry who have incurred losses due to the circuit-breaker restrictions, with more details to be provided shortly.
Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas said: “We’re doing our part to support Victorian businesses and their workers — just as we have done right throughout the pandemic.”
The Victorian government has advised businesses they can register their interest in the Business Costs Assistance Program at business.vic.gov.au so they can be notified when applications open this week.
Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Martin Pakula said: “Victorian businesses have shown amazing resilience and determination over the past 15 months, and this package will provide meaningful support where it is most needed.”
The government said operators eligible for the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund payment will be contacted directly by email in the coming days.
The new package builds on more than $6 billion in direct economic support from the Labor government to help businesses get through the pandemic, including through three rounds of the Business Support Fund.
More information about the Circuit-Breaker Business Support Package is available at business.vic.gov.au.