Financial support for Victorian businesses hardest hit by lockdowns
Victorian businesses hardest hit by recent COVID-19 lockdowns will be able to access support payments under new and existing initiatives announced by the state government.
Support for businesses includes a new program, the Small Business COVID Hardship Fund, as well as automatic payments from existing funds for Melbourne businesses that have had to endure further restrictions due to the extended August lockdown.
Here is an overview of the support funds available:
Small Business COVID Hardship Fund
The Small Business COVID Hardship Fund will provide small to medium-sized businesses in Victoria with $10,000 grants and is specifically designed to cater to businesses that are lawfully permitted to operate but are prevented from generating revenue due to enforced restrictions.
An example of an eligible business might be a food store located within a shopping centre or a manufacturer that is supplying goods for closed venues.
The $180 million fund will also support businesses that have had a significantly reduced customer base due to restrictions, such as pharmacists in the CBD and those whose orders and bookings have been cancelled, such as catering businesses.
For businesses to be eligible for the fund, they must have experienced a reduction in revenue of at least 70 per cent, as a result of restrictions imposed across the state from May to August.
Businesses that apply for the grant will have to prove their decrease in turnover, be registered for GST, and not be eligible for other Victorian COVID-19 business grant programs that have been announced since May 27.
Applications must include evidence of a reduction in revenue of at least 70 per cent for a minimum consecutive two-week period since May 27, 2021, when compared to a trading period not affected by restrictions.
In making this calculation, businesses can compare their best consecutive two-week trading period between May 27 and September 10, 2019, with their worst consecutive two-week trading period between May 27 and September 10, 2021.
Businesses can apply for the fund directly themselves, as long as they provide evidence of their reduction in turnover verified by a qualified agent, or they can apply via a qualified agent such as an accountant, tax agent, or registered BAS agent.
Applications for the Small Business COVID Hardship Fund are now open and will close when the program’s funds are exhausted or at 11.59pm on Friday, September 10, 2021 – whichever occurs earlier. Apply here.
Other support measures for Melbourne businesses
More support has been announced for Melbourne businesses affected by the extension of the August lockdown, with joint Commonwealth-Victorian packages that will be available to more than 100,000 businesses across the city.
Businesses, including sole traders, that have received or been approved for a Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two or Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two July Extension grant, or a Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund grant, will receive an automatic payment.
Need help applying for assistance?
Navigating applications for funding during lockdowns can be complex and sometimes requires a qualified agent, such as an accountant, to verify submissions.
LDB’s team of experienced accountants and tax advisors are here to help you, whether you need assistance with support grants or general business advice.
Simply give us a call on (03) 9875 2900 or send us a message via the contact form below.