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UPDATE:  Current COVID-19 Support Packages for Victorians

**This information is current as at 3 August 2021**

 

The update below is a summary of government support packages which are currently available to help Victorian businesses during the recent COVID-19 lockdown and assist their recovery, including some new measures announced in July 2021.


COMMONWEALTH support measure

Summary of the assistance

 

COVID-19 Disaster Payment

 

Payment has been expanded and increased on 28 July 2021.

 

Victorian workers in lockdown in a Commonwealth hotspot (check current VIC hotspots here) will be eligible for:

  • $450 (up from $375) for each relevant period where there has been a loss of either: (i) between 8 and less than 20 hours of work per week, or (ii) a full day of "usual work" hours per week.
  • $750 (up from $600) for each relevant period for a loss of 20 hours or more of work per week.

 

Note: "A full day of usual work" is what an individual was scheduled to work, however could not because of a restricted movement order. This includes full time, part time or casual shift of less than 8 hours.

 

We note that the vast majority of Victorian microbusinesses (annual turnover < $75,000) not registered for GST will also be eligible for this Payment.

 

Administered by Service Australia at:

www.servicesaustralia.gov.au

 

General eligibility rules:

  • The applicant is an Australian resident or hold an eligible working visa.
  • The applicant is 17 years or older.
  • The applicant is not getting an income support payment, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Dad and Partner Pay or Parental Leave Pay.
  • The applicant is not getting the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment, a state or territory pandemic payment or a state small business payment for the same period.
  • The applicant lost income and doesn't have any appropriate paid leave entitlements.
  • The applicant lives in, works from or has visited a Commonwealth-declared COVID-19 hotspot that is subject to a state restricted movement order.
  • The applicant was unable to earn their usual income of 8 hours or more or a full day's work because they were in the COVID-19 hotspot and are subject to restricted movement.

 

Specific rules will also apply to each recognised hotspot, particularly around eligibility periods.

 

Note: Eligibility criteria is subject to change through negotiations between the Federal and State Governments and should be reconfirmed before applications are lodged.

 

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment

  • Available in all States and territories to residents who cannot work because they are required to self-isolate, or they are in quarantine.
  • Residents are eligible for $1,500 for each 14-day period they are required to self-isolate or quarantine.

 

 

 

More details can be found at:

https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/ services/centrelink/pandemic-leave-disaster- payment

 

 

 


VICTORIAN support measure

Summary of the assistance

 

[NEW] Business Continuity Fund

 

The fund will deliver $5,000 grants to businesses that remain impacted by capacity limits due to public health restrictions.

 

The fund includes twenty-four eligible sectors.

 

Businesses located in the CBD will be eligible to receive an additional $2,000.

 

 

 

All recipients must have received or been eligible for the previous Business Cost Assistance Program.

 

Information on how to apply will be updated shortly on the Business Victoria website.

 

 

[NEW] Small Business COVID Hardship Fund

 

The fund will deliver grants of up to $5,000 to small businesses.

 

Eligibility:

  • payroll of up to $10 million;
  • has experienced a 70% or greater reduction in revenue; and
  • the business has not been eligible under existing business support funds.

 

 

 

Information on how to apply will be updated shortly on the Business Victoria website.

 

Support for Commercial Tenants and Landlords

 

The Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme has been reintroduced to provide rent relief for eligible tenants, while separate support will be provided to landlords who do the right thing by their tenants.

 

Eligibility:

  • annual turnover of less than $50 million; and
  • experienced a decline in turnover of at least 30% due to coronavirus.

 

Landlords will be required to provide proportional rent relief in line with a business's reduction in turnover, by providing at least half of any sum of rent relief by a waiver.

 

 

 

A mediation service for tenants and landlords will further support fair tenancy negotiations.

 

Tenants and landlords will be encouraged to enter negotiations directly, with the Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) available to provide mediation if parties cannot reach satisfactory agreement.

 

Legislation will shortly be introduced to re-enact the Scheme, which will be applied to ensure rent relief can start immediately.

 

Applications can be made through the Victorian Small Business Commission website.

 

Eligible Business Costs Assistance Package Round Two – Top-Up Payments

 

Businesses that successfully applied for this program which closed on 24 June will receive an automatic 'Top Up Payment' of $2,000.

 

On 21 July the VIC Government announced that Business Costs Assistance Program recipients will receive an automatic top up $2,800, increasing the total payment to $4,800.

 

 

 

 

Businesses that have not previously applied for this program or had been ineligible to apply but are now eligible, will be able to apply for July lockdown support payments and will be considered outside of the automatic top-up process.

 

More details can be found on the Business Victoria website.

 

 

Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 – Top-Up Payments

 

Businesses that received support under this program which closed on 24 June will receive an automatic 'Top Up Payment' of $3,000.

 

On 21 July the government announced that Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund program recipients will receive an automatic top up $4,200, increasing the total payment to $7,200.

 

To receive this funding, venues will need to have received or been eligible for the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021.

 

The program provided grants for eligible liquor licensees operating a restaurant, hotel, café, pub, bar, club, or reception centre registered to serve food and alcohol.

 

 

 

 

Businesses that have not previously applied for this program or had been ineligible to apply but are now eligible, will be able to apply for July lockdown support payments and will be considered outside of the automatic top-up process.

 

More details can be found on the Business Victoria website.

 

Alpine Business Support Program

 

Alpine Business Support will receive a further $9.8 million to deliver grants of between $5,000 and $20,000 to 430 Alpine based businesses in recognition of restricted inter and intra-state travel during the peak winter season.

 

The funding also includes $5 million support to alpine resort operators and management boards.

 

 

 

Further information on how to apply will be available shortly on the Business Victoria website.

 

Public events and public events suppliers

 

A further round of the Impacted Public Events Support Program will open shortly.

 

Eligible public events and public events suppliers affected by the lockdown will receive support of up to $25,000 and $10,000 respectively through an extension of the Impacted Public Events Support Program.

 

 

 

More details can be found on the Business Victoria website.

 

Applications closed on Friday 23 July 2021.

 

Sporting Clubs Grants Program

 

The Sporting Clubs Grants Program will provide $2,000 grants for community sport and active recreation organisations for events unable to proceed.

 

Grants of $2,000 for Victorian sport and active recreation organisations with a payroll of up to $3 million, to compensate for irrecoverable costs greater than $2,000 arising directly from the cancellation or postponement of events during the lockdown from 11:59pm on Thursday 15 July to 27 July 2021.

 

 

 

Applications are currently open and close on 13 August 2021.

 

Administered by Sports Victoria at:

sport.vic.gov.au

 

Small Business Digital Adaptation Program

 

This program provides $1,200 rebates for small businesses to access a range of digital business tools to help build your website, improve your cash flow, start online marketing, manage your jobs and projects, and keep better track of stock.

 

 

 

The program will re-open for applications soon.

 

You can register your interest via the Business Victoria website.

 

 


Please do not hesitate to contact your Lowe Lippmann Relationship Partner if you wish to discuss any of these matters further.