On 30 September 2021, the Victorian Government announced a package of grants for the next six weeks, to be jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments.
The grants comprise extensions and ‘top-ups’ of existing grant categories that have previously been provided, including the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund. Further details of the grants can be found in the press statement here.
The grants will apply Victoria-wide and are designed to provide support for businesses as they begin to re-open under the phased easing of restrictions based on vaccination targets.
Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund (LHVF)
Businesses that have previously applied for and received grants under the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund or the July Extension programs will receive further automatic payments in October. This indicates that businesses who have not previously received grants under this fund may not be able to apply for this further round of grants.
Weekly payments continue to be based on patron capacity, as follows:
· $5,000 for a capacity of up to 99 patrons or where patron capacity is not specified;
· $10,000 for a capacity of 100 to 499 patrons; and
· $20,000 for a capacity of 500 or more patrons.
The grants will, however, be reduced once Victoria has met the 70% double dose targets. Payments in metropolitan Melbourne will be reduced by 25% and by 50% in regional Victoria.
Business Costs Assistance Program
Eligible businesses will receive automatic grants under this program until the end of October ranging from $1,000 to $8,400 per week, as follows:
· $1,000 per week for eligible non-employing businesses;
· $2,800 a week for eligible businesses with an annual payroll of up to $650,000;
· $5,600 a week for eligible businesses with a payroll of $650,000 – $3 million; and
· $8,400 a week for eligible businesses with a payroll of $3 million – $10 million.
Businesses that remain closed or severely restricted over the first two weeks of November will also receive automatic payments for that period.
Businesses that have previously received or been approved for a Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two or July Extension grant will be eligible for these payments. This means that businesses who have not previously received this payment or been approved for it will not be able to apply.
Small Business COVID Hardship Fund
Some $600 million has been added to the Small Business COVID Hardship Fund, which means 30,000 more businesses will now be supported with one-off grants of $20,000.
Businesses are eligible for this grant if:
· their operations have been severely impacted by COVID-19 restrictions;
· they have experienced at least a 70% reduction in turnover due to these restrictions; and
· they are ineligible for other COVID-19 Victorian Government business grant programs. .
It is unclear if previous recipients of this grant will automatically receive the additional funding or if the additional funding will be allocated to small businesses who may have missed out in the last round of funding. We will provide more details once they are available.
Business Costs Assistance Program – Construction
On 2 October 2021, the Victorian Government announced a one-off payment to eligible businesses in the construction industry ranging from $2,000 to $8,400, as follows:
· $2,000 for eligible non-employing sole traders
· $2,800 for eligible businesses with an annual payroll of up to $650,000;
· $5,600 for eligible businesses with a payroll of $650,000 – $3 million; and
· $8,400 for eligible businesses with a payroll of $3 million to $10 million.
Applications for the grant opens mid-October. To be eligible, businesses must be registered under a relevant construction-sector ANZSIC code, have a Victorian payroll of less than $10 million a year, have incurred direct costs due to restrictions and be registered for GST.
Businesses must not have previously received support under the Business Cost Assistance Program or the Small Business COVID Hardship Fund. Guidelines for this program will be published in due course.
Please contact your Blaze Acumen adviser if you have any difficulties or require assistance with obtaining government assistance.