Kyabram Free Press

COVID support for business

- By Darren Linton

A package of automatic cash grants jointly funded by the Federal and Victorian government­s will provide regional Victorian business owners with the support they need following the extension of the lockdown to the whole of the state.

Lockdown directions started at 1 pm on Saturday, August 21, in regional Victoria, continuing until 11.59 pm on Friday, September 2.

Grants through the new $146.6 million initiative will be made automatica­lly without the need for regional businesses to make an applicatio­n.

The package comprises a $100.9 million allocation to the Business Costs Assistance Program, $34.5 million for regional premises that have previously received Licensed Hospitalit­y Venue Fund grants and $11.2 million for the Alpine Resorts Winter Support Program.

These programs will support 20,000 business throughout regional Victoria.

• Business Costs Assistance Program: Around 18,000 business owners in regional Victoria will automatica­lly receive payments of $5600 ($2800 a week) if they have previously received grants under the Business Costs Assistance round two or July extension programs.

• Small Business COVID Hardship Fund: Businesses in regional Victoria that do not qualify for this new support and have experience­d a reduction in revenue of at least 70 per cent are encouraged to apply for the $252 million Small Business COVID Hardship Fund, which provides grants of $14,000 to successful applicants.

• Licensed Hospitalit­y Venue

Fund: Automatic payments of $5000, $10,000 and $20,000 a week will be made to more than 2000 licensed hospitalit­y premises in regional Victoria that have previously received grants under the Licensed Hospitalit­y Venue Fund 2021 or July Extension programs.

• The COVID-19 Disaster Payment: A payment of $450 for people who have lost from eight to 20 hours work or a full day of work (over seven days) and $750 for 20 hours or more of work lost.

• Commonweal­th income support: People who receive certain payments are eligible to receive a $200 payment where they have lost eight hours or more of work due to the lockdowns.

Victorian micro-businesses and sole trader business owners who wish to apply for the Commonweal­th COVID-19 Disaster Payment can access the Business Victoria Concierge Service on 132 215 and schedule an appointmen­t that will provide them with assistance to make an applicatio­n.

Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas said this support package would provide assurance to business owners in regional Victoria when they needed it most.

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