Victoria announces $143m in support for SMEs hit by snap lockdown.
The Victorian government has revealed a $143 million support package for small businesses impacted by the five-day snap lockdown.
The snap lockdown was announced as part of efforts to contain a COVID outbreak that began within its hotel quarantine system.
Grants under the Circuit Breaker Support Package will target hospitality, tourism, events and creative industries operators that had to suddenly shut shop in response to the health order.
The program is expected to help more than 50,000 Victorian businesses — including restaurants, florists, confectioners, hairdressers, accommodation providers, musicians and performers — to pay for costs such as the loss of perishable goods, cancelled gigs and foregone trading.
New $200 vouchers for travel in regional Victoria and Melbourne will further bolster tourism businesses and workers, while licensed venues and accommodation businesses will receive dedicated new assistance as vibrancy returns to our night-time and visitor economies.
The 4 initiatives under the support package
The Victorian government said the package contains four initiatives targeted at businesses, including small and micro businesses.
A new $92 million Business Costs Assistance Program will offer grants of $2,000 for eligible employing and non-employing businesses in the hospitality, food wholesaling, tourism, events and selected retail industries. Businesses with an annual payroll of up to $3 million will be eligible.
There is also a $24.9 million injection to the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund that will give previous recipients of this grant an automatic one-off $3,000 per premises payment. More than $165 million has already been paid to about 7,500 businesses through this fund.
Further, the $16.2 million commitment Victorian Accommodation Support Program aims to soften the impact of cancellations on regional and metropolitan accommodation providers. Accommodation providers who had 10 or fewer cancellations can apply for $2,250 per business while providers with more than 10 booking cancellations can apply for $4,500 per business.
Meanwhile, a further $10 million will expand the scheme to include a new Melbourne Travel Voucher Scheme, offering 40,000 vouchers for $200 for travel in greater Melbourne, and an additional 10,000 vouchers to support travel in regional Victoria. The Regional Travel Voucher Scheme and Melbourne Travel Voucher Scheme now span 200,000 vouchers for eligible Victorians.
“Victorian businesses played their part in the circuit-breaker action and this package recognises that the impact for many was severe,” said Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Martin Pakula.
Further information about the Circuit Breaker Support Package can be found here.