October 1, 2020
Manage your finances

Has COVID-19 hurt your business? Get help from the Vic Govt’s $3 billion survival package

Help is here for struggling Victorian business owners who have been impacted by the extended lockdown. The Vic Govt has just announced a $3 billion rescue package for businesses.

It’s no secret that Victorian businesses have been hit hard during the extended lockdown, and the State government has announced much-needed support for business owners who are struggling to stay open during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Help is here, in the form of cash grants, cash flow relief and support for adaptation.

What is the Business Survival and Adaptation Package?

In direct response to the extended COVID-19 lockdown, the Victorian government has announced a $3 billion Business Survival and Adaptation Package for businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. 

The package features a mix of cash grants, tax relief and cashflow support, featuring three different components:

  1. Business support
  2. Business adaptation
  3. Waivers and deferrals

1. Business support initiatives

The Business Survival and Adaptation Package offers a range of financial support to business in the form of grants to eligible participants. Consult the list of grant programs below to see if your COVID-impacted business can receive help.

Small and medium sized business ($822 million): The third round of the Business Support Fund will provide up to $20,000 for business with a payroll of up to $10 million. Grant applications open on Friday 18 September 2020.

Scroll down to read our summary of the Business Support Fund or visit the Business Victoria website to apply. 

Licensed Hospitality Business ($251 million): Grants of up to $30,000 for licensed pubs, clubs, hotels, bars, restaurants and reception centres, based on their venue capacity and location.

Business Chambers and Trader Groups ($3 million): A competitive grants program to support metropolitan and regional business chambers and trader groups.

Alpine businesses ($4.3 million): Grants of up to $20,000 to help alpine businesses pay a service charge to Alpine Resort Management Boards.

Sole Trader Support Fund ($100 million): Grants of up to $3,000 to over 30,000 eligible sole traders who operate from a commercial premises or location to which the sole operator is the tenant or licensee.

2. Business adaptation initiatives

The Business Survival and Adaptation Package also contains funding to help businesses build capacity, establish new markets, support the hospitality industry, promote local business and support impacted industries on the roadmap to recovery.

$20 million voucher program to assist sole traders and small businesses in building their digital capability

$15.7 million package to help Victorian exporters get their products to market and establish new trade channels.

$8.5 million expansion to the ‘Click for Vic’ campaign to encourage more Victorians to support local businesses.

$87.5 million Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package to support hospitality businesses prepare for COVID-normal reopening across Victoria.

$100 million Melbourne City Recovery Fund between the Victorian Government and the City of Melbourne to support Melbourne on the roadmap for reopening to COVID normal in the lead up to Christmas and during summer.

3. Waivers and deferrals

The $3 billion Business Survival and Adaptation Package features a range of waivers and deferrals to assist with cash flow relief and to alleviate the operating costs of businesses who have been impacted by the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

$1.7 billion to defer payroll tax for businesses with payrolls up to $10 million for the full 2020-21 financial year

$41 million to bring forward the 50% stamp duty discount for commercial and industrial property for all of Regional Victoria

$33 million to defer the planned increase in the landfill levy for six months

$30 million to waive 25% of the Congestion Levy this year, with the outstanding balance deferred.

$27 million in liquor license fee waivers for 2021

$6 million to waive Vacant Residential Land Tax for vacancies in 2020.

Business Support Fund round #3: more funding for struggling businesses

The Vic Government recently announced a third round of their well-received Business Support Fund, which helps businesses stay afloat during restricted trading. Eligible businesses will receive grants of $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000, depending on annual payroll.

Eligible businesses with payrolls of up to $10 million will receive:

  • $10,000 if its annual payroll is less than $650,000
  • $15,000 if its annual 2019-20 payroll is between $650,000 and less than $3 million
  • $20,000 if its annual 2019-20 payroll is between $3 million and up to $10 million.

What can the grants be used for?

Grants may be used to assist the business on:

  • meeting business costs, including utilities, salaries or rent;
  • seeking financial, legal or other advice to support business continuity planning;
  • developing the business through marketing and communications activities; or
  • any other supporting activities related to the operation of the business.

Where can I get more information?

Download the guidelines from the Business Victoria website.

Frequently asked questions about the Business Support Fund.

Apply for a grant through the Business Victoria website.

Our team will continue to provide you with the most up-to-date government advice. We realise that all the recent policy changes can be overwhelming, and we are more than happy to help you better understand the current state of play.

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