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Victorian Business Support Fund has been Expanded

Last Friday (10th July 2020), the Victorian Government announced that expanded support will soon be available for businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire affected by the current "Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions".


The package includes one-off cash grants of $5,000 for some (estimated) 80,000 eligible businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, which moved back into COVID-19 Stage 3 restrictions effective from midnight Wednesday 8th July 2020.


These latest grants are an extension of the Business Support Fund grants of $5,000 announced last week in relation to those businesses within the "12 hotspot postcodes" that were locked down first – further details can be seen in our recent Tax Alert - click here.


What are the details of the Support Fund?

The Government announced that the support package for businesses impacted within the metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will include:

  • a $30 million fund for hospitality business;
  • a $20 million fund for small businesses in Melbourne's CBD; and
  • a $26 million fund set aside for mental health support and mentoring for small business owners, including sole traders.


Outside of the heavily impacted areas of metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, the Government has set aside a further $40 million for regional tourism businesses, to help cover refunds and marketing costs which are anticipated to be lost, from Melbourne residents who are now restricted form travelling during the current "Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions" in place for at least the next 6 weeks.


How can the grant funds be used?

If approved, the one-off cash grant of $5,000 may be used to assist the business with:

  • meeting business costs (including utilities, salaries or rent);
  • seeking financial, legal or other advice to support business continuity planning;
  • developing the business through marketing and communications activities; or
  • any other supporting activities related to the operation of the business.


What type of business can apply for this grant?

Businesses can apply where they meet all of the criteria listed below, including:

  • operating a business located in metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire;
  • participating in the JobKeeper Payment scheme;
  • the business employs staff;
  • registered with WorkSafe on 30 June 2020;
  • have an annual payroll of less than $3 million in 2019-20 (on an ungrouped basis);
  • registered for GST as at 30 June 2020;
  • holds an ABN, and has held that ABN as at 30 June 2020; and
  • registered with the responsible Federal or State regulator (such as the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC), or Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV)).


Businesses that have received funding from other components of the Victorian Government's Economic Survival Package are eligible to apply for this program.


It is important to note that business owners that do not employ staff (ie. non-employing businesses) are not eligible for funding through this program.


Full details will be released shortly via the Business Victoria website – click here



How to apply

Applicants must submit an application online via the 'Apply now' button via the Business Victoria website – click here


All questions in the application must be completed and any requested documentation attached (as a PDF) to ensure timely assessment and grant payment.  Examples of relevant documents include evidence of the address of their eligible business operation through their most recent utility bill (ie. gas, electricity, telecommunications, water), lease agreement, or council rate notice.


Applicants must also provide evidence of their participation in the JobKeeper Payment scheme, for example, by providing evidence of the most recent submitted JobKeeper Payment business monthly declaration.


As part of the assessment process, evidence provided by applicants may be subject to a check with other government agencies including the VIC State Revenue Office, WorkSafe and ASIC.


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