The Victorian Government has announced further assistance packages to support businesses to survive and adapt on the road to Covid normal. The two assistance packages, valued at $3 billion and $290 million respectively, will include cash grants, tax relief and cashflow support.
Business Support Fund
The Victorian Government is providing a third round of the Business Support Fund worth $822 million. Eligible businesses that have payrolls up to $10 million will receive grants of $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000 depending on their size.
To be eligible for a grant, businesses must satisfy all of the following criteria:
- Operate from a location in Victoria;
- Participate in the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper Payment scheme;
- Employ people and be registered with WorkSafe;
- Had an annual payroll of less than $10 million in 2019-20;
- Be registered for GST;
- Hold an ABN; and
- Be registered with the responsible Federal or State regulator.
Grant applications open on Friday 18 September 2020 and a full list of eligibility criteria will be published then.
Licensed Venues support
A $251 million dedicated Licensed Venue Fund will support grants of between $10,000 and $30,000 to licensed venues of all shapes and sizes.
Further, all 2021 liquor licence fees will be waived.
Sole Trader support Fund
$100 million has been earmarked to provide grants of up to $3,000 to over 30,000 eligible sole traders to help them survive until they are back to full operation. Only sole traders who operate from a commercial premises, or a location to which the sole operator is the tenant or licensee, are eligible for these grants.
Further, to be eligible, sole traders must operate in a sector that is restricted, heavily restricted or not opening under the Second Step of the Roadmap.
Melbourne City Recovery Fund
The Victorian Government, in partnership with the City of Melbourne, will provide $100 million to help reshape Melbourne’s CBD so that it can operate safely in a COVID Normal environment.
Small and medium sized businesses can apply for $30 million of grants to pay for equipment, repurpose spaces such as rooftops and courtyards into hospitality zones and remodel internal layouts to ensure a better flow of patrons.
Of the remaining $70 million, $30 million will be spent on supporting COVIDSafe events and cultural activities to attract visitors back to the CBD and $40 million has been earmarked to pay for physical improvements to the CBD streetscape, which may include wider footpaths and street planter boxes.
Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package
Under this package, $87.5 million will be provided to hospitality businesses and councils outside of Melbourne’s CBD to make widespread outdoor dining a reality.
$58 million of this package will go towards providing grants of up to $5,000 to help hospitality businesses pay for practical items such as umbrellas and outdoor furniture that will allow the outdoor dining plan to work. The Victorian Government will also in invest in training, advertising and other support that businesses require in moving to an outdoor dining culture.
In order to be eligible for these grants, hospitality businesses such as cafés, restaurants, takeaway food businesses, pubs, clubs, taverns and bars must have a payroll of less than $3 million.
The balance of the $87.5 million package will be provided to local councils to assist them in implementing swift and streamlined processes to support the expanded outdoor dining capability of hospitality businesses. Councils can also pass the money on to businesses in the form or reducing or waiving permit fees or through investing in infrastructure such as streetscaping and lighting.
Various tax relief measures were announced in the form of waivers and deferrals, including:
- Payroll tax deferral in respect of the entire 2020-2021 financial year for businesses with payrolls up to $10 million (note this is not a waiver).
- The bringing forward of the 50% stamp duty discount for commercial and industrial property across regional Victoria to 1 January 2021.
- Waiving the Vacant Residential Land Tax for properties that are vacant in 2020.
- Deferral of planned increase in the landfill levy for six months.
- Partial waiver of the Congestion Levy this year (25%) with the outstanding balance being deferred.
- Waiver of 2021 liquor licence fees.
Other measures announced included:
- Grants of up to $20,000 for businesses in alpine resorts to help cover resort fees.
- A competitive scheme to provide grants of up to $20,000 to support business chambers and trader groups in adapting to Covid normal.
- $20 million for small businesses to access off-the-shelf digital programs to assist them in adapting to online operations.
- An additional $8.5 million to further support the Click for Vic website and marketing campaign.
- Provision of a $15.7 million export recovery package to address logistics and supply chain issues caused by the pandemic and to establish new export channels.
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Published: 15 September 2020
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