The Victorian Government will provide new cash grants for businesses affected by the short lockdown necessary to get ahead of the Delta strain, so they can have a strong recovery on the other side of the public health restrictions.
“No one wanted to be here, but Victorians know we must take decisive action to drive this virus down – so we’re in this situation for days, not months,” said Premier Daniel Andrews.
“People start needing support from day one – hour one – of a lockdown. We know this is tough on Victorian businesses and we’re standing with them, just as we’ve done from the very start of the pandemic.”
Automatic payments will be made to eligible businesses and sole traders across the state to minimise delays and swiftly get money into the pockets of businesses who need it most.
Up to 90,000 businesses that have and will receive payments through the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund and Business Costs Assistance Program relating to the May-June lockdown will receive the Victorian Government’s new support payments of $3,000 and $2,000 respectively.
Payments are due to commence over the course of next week – with total funding of $201.8 million. Eligible businesses will include restaurants, cafes bars, event suppliers, tourism and accommodation providers and non-essential retailers.
The Victorian Government has also reached agreement with the Commonwealth Government to fund income support payments from day one of the lockdown.
Workers affected by the public health restrictions are now eligible for the same payments afforded by the Commonwealth to New South Wales workers:
- Payments of $600 will be made to Victorians that lose 20 hours or more of work during the period of the lockdown
- Payments of $375 will be made to individuals that lose between 8-20 hours of work during the period of the lockdown
- There is no liquid assets test applied to receive these payments
The Federal Government will fund payments for those Victorians who work or live in a COVID-19 Hotspot declared by the Commonwealth – that includes Greater Melbourne, Moorabool Shire, the City of Greater Geelong, Borough of Queenscliffe and the Surf Coast Shire.
The Victorian Government will fund payments for Victorians who live outside of these areas but are still subject to the lockdown.
The Victorian Government’s direct economic support for businesses has topped $6 billion over the course of the pandemic, including more than $500 million through the last restrictions period with $461.2 million allocated for the Business Costs Assistance Program and Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund.
Some 90 per cent of those program allocations have been delivered to date – $413 million in grants to more than 86,000 small and medium-sized businesses and sole traders.
The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions is working with 22,000 applicants to the Business Costs Assistance Program to finalise those applications where information has been missing or further detail has been requested to confirm eligibility.
It is expected thousands of these applicants will be successful and paid by the end of next week.
The May/June support package also included the $20 million , $16 million for 80,000 regional travel vouchers and $4.4 million for the Alpine Support Program providing businesses in the alpine resorts with grants of up to $15,000.