Victorian Government Announces Grants for COVID affected Businesses

Written by Kadence Edmonds

steven groeneveld melbourne street busy hospitality

The Victorian Government is investing $3 billion to help businesses impacted by ongoing restrictions and prepare for COVID Normal business.

$3 billion in cash grants, tax relief and cashflow support will be delivered to Victorian businesses that have been most affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions. 

Included in this package is a Business adaptation plan which will help struggling businesses survive the lockdown and implement an outdoor dining culture in preparation for reopening.  


Business Support 

  • Small and medium sized business ($822 million): The third round of the Business Support Fund will provide grants of $20,000, $15,000 or $10,000, depending on size, to around 75,000 eligible businesses with a payroll of up to $10 million. 
  • Licensed Hospitality Business ($251 million): Grants of up to $30,000 for licensed pubs, clubs, hotels, bars, restaurants and reception centres, based on their venue capacity and location, plus liquor license fees waived until 2021.
  • Sole Trader Support Fund ($100 million): Grants of up to $3,000 to over 30,000 eligible sole traders in sectors such as retail, accommodation and food services, creative and media, hairdressing, gyms, events, education and training who operate from a commercial premises or location as a tenant.
  • Alpine businesses ($4.3 million): Grants of up to $20,000 to help alpine businesses pay a service charge to Alpine Resort Management Boards.
  • Business Chambers and Trader Groups ($3 million): A competitive grants program to support local business groups and chambers of commerce in helping their members adapt to COVID Normal.


Business Adaptation 

The adaptation package, aimed at helping business "reimagine" its operations, looking to global cities including New York and London for a blueprint, the city will repurpose its footpaths and roads to make way for expanded outdoor dining.

Details announced on 13 September include proactive planning and licensing regulations. Under The Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package councils and businesses outside Melbourne’s CBD will receive $87.5 million to make outdoor dining safe and practical.

In addition, a further $58 million will be used to establish $5,000 grants for hospitality businesses struggling with restrictions. These grants will fund the purchase of umbrellas, outdoor furniture, screens and other equipment to help with the changes. License and unlicensed cafés, restaurants, takeaway food businesses, pubs, taverns, bars and clubs with a payroll of less than $3 million will be eligible for the grants, which are expected to reach more than 11,000 businesses.

Funds will also be used to invest in training and advertising as well as other business needs.

Further funding will see local councils receiving $29.5 million to streamline permit, enforcement and monitoring processes. Assistance of up to $500,000 will be provided to eligible metropolitan and regional city councils, while rural councils can apply for up to $250,000 — these funds can be used to reduce or waive permit fees or invest in infrastructure projects such as streetscaping and lighting.

The state government will also work in partnership with the City of Melbourne to reshape the city’s CBD through a $100 million fund. The Melbourne City Recovery Fund will provide grants to CBD businesses, of which there are more than 16,500 registered.

The fund will make $30 million in grants available to small and medium businesses. Businesses who successfully apply will be able to use the grants to pay for equipment and convert rooftops, courtyards and other spaces into hospitality zones. They can also use the grants to cover the cost of remodelling internal layouts.

The government has also earmarked $30 million to support COVIDSafe events and cultural activities, while further $40 million will be used to undertake physical improvements to the CBD, such as creating wider footpaths, bollards and planter boxes.

Learn more about the Victorian Government support packages here.

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