Business support during Coronavirus

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The Victorian Government has launched the $250 million Circuit Breaker Business Support Package to assist small to medium businesses and sole traders, under the circuit breaker restrictions announced on 27 May 2021.

The package will support businesses unable to operate due to these necessary public health measures, including targeted support for the events industry.

With safety nets such as JobKeeper no longer available, this package provides vital support to businesses doing their part to help keep Victorians safe throughout the circuit breaker action.

The package includes:

  • a $190.01 million second round of the Business Costs Assistance Program
  • a $40.7 million new round of the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund
  • $20 million in targeted support for the events industry.

Update 2 June 2021

Building on the $250.7 million Circuit Breaker Business Support Package announced Sunday 30 May, a new allocation of up to $209.3 million will flow to small and medium-sized businesses, including sole traders, increasing the total support package to $460 million.

The Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two grants for eligible businesses located in metropolitan Melbourne will be doubled from $2,500 to $5,000.

Regional businesses unable to open due to the ongoing restrictions, such as nightclubs and amusement parks, will also be eligible for the extended payment.

Metropolitan businesses that will have restrictions eased from Friday 3 June 2021 will not be eligible for the extended payment.

The Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 grants for businesses in metropolitan Melbourne with eligible liquor licences and food certificates will be doubled from $3,500 to $7,000.

Regional Tourism Support Package 

The Victorian Government has announced a $32.2 million Regional Tourism Support Package that will directly assist businesses, including accommodation providers, attractions and experiences, as they manage the impact of recent restrictions to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The latest investment builds on the $460 million in business support previously announced in response to restrictions announced on 27 May 2021. Round two of the Business Costs Assistance Program and the Licensed Venue Hospitality Fund 2021 are now open for applications.

The Regional Tourism Support Package includes three initiatives to support tourism businesses:

  • $16 million to fund 80,000 travel vouchers valued at $200, building on the success of the Regional Travel Voucher Scheme to encourage Victorians to support regional tourism operators.
  • An $11.8 million for a Business Costs Assistance Program Tourism Supplement to provide eligible tourism businesses – accommodation, attractions and tourism operators – up to $4,500 in additional support.
  • A $4.4 million Alpine Support Program providing businesses in the alpine resorts and Dinner Plain with up to $15,000 grants. Off-mountain alpine related businesses such as equipment hire, transport companies and tour providers may be eligible for $5,000

Business Costs Assistance Program
The program provides $2,500 and $5,000 grants for eligible employing and non-employing businesses in sectors most impacted. This includes businesses operating in an industry that cannot operate under the circuit breaker restrictions and which cannot work remotely.

The program is now open for applications and will remain open until 11:59pm on Thursday 24 June 2021.

Apply now at Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two.

Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 

The Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 program provides businesses holding an eligible liquor licence and food certificate with a $3,500 or $7,000 grant per premises.

The program is now open for applications and will remain open until 11:59pm on Thursday 24 June 2021.

Eligible liquor licensees under the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 payment have been emailed directly by Business Victoria with a link to their grant application form.

Learn more at Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021.

Victorian Events Support Package

The $20 million package dedicated to supporting operators in the events industry who have incurred losses due to the circuit-breaker restrictions.

More information will be available shortly.

Register your interest

To be alerted when the Victorian Events Support Package is open for applications please register for the Business Victoria Update newsletter.

PARTNERS IN WELLBEING HELPLINE (FREE SERVICE)

The Partners in Wellbeing helpline is now available on weekends and weekdays, so small business owners who feel stressed and anxious can get free, confidential support when they need it.

The helpline also provides small business owners with advice on managing debt and financial issues.

Contact the Partners in Wellbeing team on 1300 375 330 for assistance between 9am and 10pm on weekdays, and 9am to 5pm on weekends.  

For more information, go here.

RURAL FINANCIAL COUNSELLING SERVICE (FREE SERVICE)

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 OHS ESSENTIALS PROGRAM (FREE SERVICE)

Need workplace safety advice for your small business? WorkSafe’s free OHS Essentials program offers small businesses confidential, personalised and expert advice in improving workplace safety. This free program helps set small businesses up for success and to maintain COVIDSafe environment. Get access to three consultations with an independent consultant who will support improving the safety in your business. Find more information here.

You can contact Rhonda McInnes from WorkSafe on 0417 344 484 or ohsessentials@worksafe.vic.gov.au.

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COVIDSafe WORK PLAN

The State Government has developed information for businesses about COVIDSafe Work Plans. Their website provides this description about the requirements for these plans: 

It is now mandatory for every Victorian business to have a COVIDSafe Plan. To ensure compliance, random spot checks are underway in regional Victoria. Your COVIDSafe Plan must set out:

  • Your actions to help prevent the introduction of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your workplace
  • The level of face mask or personal protective equipment (PPE) required for your workforce
  • How you will prepare for, and respond to, a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your workplace
  • This plan must demonstrate how you will meet all the requirements set out by the Victorian Government. Some higher-risk industries or workplaces have additional requirements of employers and employees.

Businesses must review and update their COVIDSafe Plans routinely, especially when restrictions or public health advice changes. Organisations with multiple worksites must complete a COVIDSafe Plan for each worksite.

More information: https://www.business.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19/covid-safe-business/covid-safe-plan