SMALL BUSINESS COVID HARDSHIP FUND
An additional allocation of $72 million will boost the Small Business COVID Hardship Fund to $252 million, with grants increasing from $10,000 to $14,000 and available to small- and medium-sized businesses across the state.
The fund opened for applications on 12 August 2021 through the Business Victoria website and will help up to 18,000 businesses that have been ineligible for business support programs and have experienced a reduction in revenue of at least 70 per cent.
Businesses that are legally allowed to operate but are restricted in their ability to generate revenue – such as a food store located at a shopping centre or a manufacturer supplying goods for closed venues – will be among those businesses that that could be eligible.
BUSINESS COSTS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
More than 110,000 businesses in metropolitan Melbourne will automatically receive payments of $5,600 ($2,800 per week) through a $625 million injection.
The Business Costs Assistance Program provides support for businesses that are significantly affected due to the lockdown but continue to incur costs.
LICENSED HOSPITALITY VENUE FUND 2021
Automatic payments of $5,000, $10,000 and $20,000 per week will be made to about 7,000 licensed hospitality premises in metropolitan Melbourne that have previously received grants under the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 or July Extension programs. An additional $110 million has been allocated to the new licensed hospitality venue initiative.
Payment amounts will be stepped according to premises capacity: $5,000 for a capacity of up to 99 patrons, $10,000 for a capacity of 100 to 499 patrons and $20,000 for a capacity of 500 or more.
COVID-19 DISASTER PAYMENTS
Eligible workers across the state who lose hours of work due to the lockdown will be able to access the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Disaster Payment, as will individuals who are sole-trader business owners who lose work and that do not qualify for Victorian Government support programs.
The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is administered through Services Australia, with the Federal Government funding the areas declared a Commonwealth hotspot and the Victorian Government assuming responsibility to fund payments in the rest of the state.
The payment is set at $450 for people who have lost from eight to 20 hours work or a full day of work (over seven days), and $750 for 20 hours or more of work lost. People who receive certain Commonwealth income support are eligible to receive a $200 payment where they have lost eight hours or more of work due to the lockdowns.