Grants of AUD$2,500 are being made available to eligible businesses in Victoria as a result of the snap lockdown of the past week, including restaurants and cafes, accommodation providers, event suppliers and non-essential retailers.
The Victorian Government will spend AUD$190 million as part of a Circuit Breaker Business Support Package to help around 90,000 businesses in the state which have been impacted by the lockdown. On top of this, businesses holding a valid liquor licence and food certificate will be able to claim a AUD$3,500 grant per premises, taking the government’s total support package to AUD$250 million.
Within the overall package, $20 million has been allocated to supporting the events industry, aimed at operators which have lost revenue due to the circuit-breaker lockdown.
Businesses can register their interest in the grants through business.vic.gov.au where they can make their applications and find out more information.
“The circuit-breaker action will keep Victorians safe and protect businesses and jobs – but we know it’s not easy shutting your doors and putting your plans on hold,” said Victorian Acting Premier, James Merlino.
“This support will help businesses pay the bills and maintain their workforce as best they can, as we work together to get through this challenge.”
The support package follows campaigning by the Australian Hotels Association (AHA), which has implored National Cabinet to agree on targeted and uniform support plans for workers and businesses subjected to short-notice lockdowns.
AHA Chief Executive, Stephen Ferguson, says he understands perfectly and respects the need to keep Australians safe.
“But the latest seven-day lockdown in Victoria highlights again that workers and businesses are stuck with no coordinated scheme in place to look after the welfare of businesses and workers financially impacted by the restrictions imposed on them.
“The effect of this latest lockdown has been exacerbated by the end of JobKeeper.”
According to the AHA, the most recent count on hospitality business and employee numbers in Victoria has been counted as 26,193 businesses employing 229,829 people.