Kyabram Free Press
Boost for business support
An additional $2.34 billion in business support that will be jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Victorian governments will extend critical financial support for small and medium-sized businesses.
With restrictions to remain in place until 70 per cent of Victorians have had at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, the available support has been extended until September 30.
The vast majority of payments will be deposited automatically into businesses’ bank accounts, while a new tiered payments system for the Business Costs Assistance Program will allow for higher payments to businesses with more workers.
The Business Costs Assistance Program provides payments to businesses of between $2800 and $8400 a week depending on their payroll size.
Eligible cafés, restaurants and bars will continue to receive Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund payments of between $5000 and $20,000 per week.
The COVID Hardship Fund will increase the grant amount to $20,000 for about 35,000 businesses, and the deadline for applications will be extended.
Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the additional funding built on the government's $45 billion in direct economic support delivered to Victorian households and businesses since the start of the pandemic.
“The Morrison Government understands the significant impact extended lockdowns have on individuals and businesses right across Victoria,” he said.
"We will continue to support Victorians with our ongoing economic assistance to meet the challenges of the Delta strain."
Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas said the state government understood the importance of maintaining a genuine partnership with the state’s small and medium-sized businesses.
“Businesses of all colours and shades have shown great resilience and we’ll continue to back them as we move towards the levels of vaccination that we need in order to open up again in a sustained way,” Mr Pallas said.
“We are responding to changing circumstances with a package that is bigger than anything we’ve announced before, and it’s the right thing to do. It’s right for the dedicated business owners across the state and it’s right for their workers.”
Victorian Industry Support and Recovery Minister Martin Pakula said the move to a tiered system of funding for the Business Costs Assistance Program recognised the cumulative impact of an extended period of lockdown.
Eligible workers across the state who lose hours of work due to the lockdown will be able to access the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Disaster Payment, as will individuals who are sole-trader business owners who lose work and that do not qualify for Victorian Government support programs.