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VIC begins automatic Covid grants: totalling $20,000 for Melbourne, $15,000 for regional businesses

“We want businesses to survive this pandemic – we want people healthy and back at work. We want to begin the process of rebuilding our economy and our community and setting us up for the future,” said Premier Daniel Andrews. 

Funds are flowing through to businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria as we continue to fight the coronavirus pandemic, with grants of $5,000 for 24,000 eligible businesses – totalling $120 million – out the door.

The first batch of these additional payments to metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire went out yesterday, while applications for regional Victorian businesses opened on Friday.

Eligible businesses from metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire that have received or applied for the initial grant will be eligible for an additional $5,000 that will be processed automatically, without previous applicants needing to apply again.

This extension means eligible businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire may receive a total of $20,000 through the Business Support Fund, while regional businesses may receive $15,000.

Already this year, $776 million has been paid out to 77,600 eligible businesses in the first round of the Business Support Fund as part of our $1.7 billion economic survival package.

While Stage 4 restrictions are needed to bring down case numbers by limiting movement across the state, we recognise these are extremely difficult times for Victorian businesses.

“We can’t get to that point unless we all play a part in making this strategy work, but we will continue to support businesses to the other side,” said Premier Daniel Andrews.

Nobody wants to see empty streets and shuttered shops – but the health advice tells us this is what it will take to get through to the other side of the pandemic.

That’s why it’s pleasing to see the vast majority of people are doing the right thing. We can see from traffic data more Victorians are staying home, with Melbourne’s roads experiencing about 45 per cent of usual traffic.

On Friday, there were just 43,000 tram trips and 71,000 metropolitan train trips, which is less than 10 per cent of Melbourne’s usual weekday figures.

Our public transport network is running at about nine per cent of its usual levels. To protect workers and those who do still need to use the system, we’ve increased cleaning on all train, tram and bus services, as well as stations and stops.

We’ve made sure services are still running for permitted workers and we’ll continue to monitor the data as more people are catching public transport.

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