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Victorian Government Launches 

$500M Business Support Fund

The Victorian Government has launched the $500 million Business Support Fund to help small businesses survive the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and keep people in work.

 

Funding of a one-off grant of $10,000 per business is available and allocation will be made through a grant process.


Eligibility requirements.

Businesses are eligible to apply for a grant through the Fund if they meet the following criteria:

  • Have been subject to closure or highly impacted by Non-Essential Activity Directions issued by the Deputy Chief Health Officer to-date External link (click here); and
  • Have employed staff during 2019-20; and
  • Have a turnover of more than $75,000; and
  • Have payroll of less than $650,000; and
  • Hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and held that ABN at 16 March 2020 (when the State of Emergency was declared); and
  • Have been engaged in carrying out the operation of the business in the Australian State of Victoria on 16 March 2020. 

We note that the Fund is targeted at small businesses that may not be eligible for 2019-20 refunds and waiving of payroll tax, which applies to businesses with wages bills of $650,000 or above.

 

Also, the final "going concern" requirement (above) refers to a business where an owner is still in control of the business (not in liquidation, administration or receivership), and where the owner has the intent of reopening the business once shutdown restrictions are lifted.

 

While owners of businesses that do not employ people (non-employing businesses) are not eligible for funding through this program, they can seek support through the Commonwealth Government's Job Seeker Payment Program.


How can the funding be used?

The grant funding could be used for the following business related functions:

  • Meeting business costs, including utilities, salaries, rent;
  • Seeking financial, legal or other advice to support business continuity planning;
  • Developing the business through marketing and communications activities;
  • Other supporting activities related to the operation of the business.

Evidence of eligibility and compliance

Applicants must certify in writing that they meet the eligibility criteria, and applicants will be subject to audit by the Victorian Government to produce evidence, such as payroll reports to demonstrate impact, for a period of up to four years after the grant has been approved.

 

If any information in the application is found to be false or misleading, or grants are not applied for the purposes stated in the terms of funding and application, the grant will be repayable on demand.


How to apply

Applicants must submit an application online via the business.vic.gov.au website – click here.

 

Applicants are required to provide a copy of their most recent Business Activity Statement (BAS), and other supporting materials can also be provided.

 

Applications open on Monday 30 March 2020 and close on Monday 1 June 2020.  If you require any assistance to complete the registration application, please contact your Lowe Lippmann advisor.

 

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