The Victorian Government is providing a further $3 billion to support businesses impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.

Business Support

The third round of the Business Support Fund provides grants of $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000 to eligible businesses depending on payroll size. To be eligible your business must operate in an industry sector contained on the list of eligible industry sectors found here. Prior to submitting an application businesses need to ensure that their details at the Australian Business Register website are correct and are within the eligible industry sectors.

In addition to being in an eligible industry sector, businesses must also:
• operate a business located within Victoria
• participate in the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper scheme
• employ people and be registered for WorkCover with WorkSafe Victoria
• have had an annual payroll of less than $10 million in 2019-20
• be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST)
• hold an Australian Business Number (ABN)
• be registered with the responsible Federal or State regulator.

Businesses which are not in one of the listed industry sectors may be able to access other support programs.

Businesses that have received a grant from the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund (see below) are not eligible to receive a grant from the Business Support Fund.

Applications close on 23 November 2020. 

Full details can be found here:

The Sole Trader Support Fund provides grants of up to $3,000 to 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.

To be eligible for a grant from this program, applicants must:
• be operating a business in Victoria that does not employ staff
• operate from a premises that is not their residence (either a tenant of commercial premises or licensee in commercial location as a mobile food business)
• hold a valid ABN
• be a current participant in the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper payment scheme
• operate in an industry sector that has been heavily restricted or closed as a result of continued restrictions
• have not received a Business Support Fund grant
A full list of the eligibility criteria for a grant will be published when applications open in the coming days.

The Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund provides 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.

To be eligible for a grant from this program, applicants must:

• Operate a licensed pub, club, hotel, bar, restaurant or reception centre under a general, full club or on-premises liquor licence issued by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation, and
• Have premises that serve patrons and holds a Class 2 or 3 Service Sector – Certificate of Registration under the Food Act 1984 (Vic) issued by a local council.

Eligible businesses will receive grant amounts as per the table below.

Patron capacity  Eligible Grant Amount  Eligible Grant Amount 
  Metropolitan Melbourne Regional Victoria
 1-20 $15,000 $10,000 
 21-100 $20,000 $15,000
101 or more $30,000 $25,000

A full list of the eligibility criteria for a grant will be published when applications open.

Alpine businesses: Grants of up to $20,000 to help alpine businesses pay a service charge to Alpine Resort Management Boards.

Business Chambers and Trader Groups: A competitive grants program to support local business groups and chambers of commerce in helping their members adapt to COVID Normal.

Tax Waivers and Deferrals

The Government is providing:

• Payroll tax deferral for businesses with payrolls up to $10 million for the full 2020-21 financial year
• A 50% stamp duty discount for commercial and industrial property for all of Regional Victoria
• $33 million to defer the planned increase in the landfill levy for six months
• 25% waiver of the Congestion Levy this year, with the balance deferred
• Waivers of liquor license fees for 2021
• Waiver of the Vacant Residential Land Tax for vacancies in 2020.

Business Adaptation

The package also provides additional funding, tools and resources to help businesses adapt and prepare for reopening under 'COVID Normal' settings.

• Melbourne City Recovery Fund – Support for the CBD to reopen to ‘COVID normal’ in the lead up to Christmas and during summer. It includes grants for small and medium businesses to pay for equipment, convert spaces (e.g., rooftops, courtyards) into hospitality zones, and remodel internal layouts for a better flow of patrons.

• Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package – Funding to support hospitality businesses and councils prepare for 'COVID Normal' reopening across Victoria. It includes grants of up to $5,000 for hospitality businesses (e.g., pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes) with an annual payroll of less than $3 million to help adapt to outdoor dining.

• Voucher program to assist sole traders and small businesses in building their digital capability through off-the-shelf digital programs such as Shopify or Square online to help adapt to online operations.

• An assistance package may be available for Victorian exporters to get their products to market by addressing logistics and supply chain issues caused by the pandemic.

• Grants of up to $500,000 per metropolitan and regional council, and $250,000 for rural councils.