Kyabram Free Press

Business support continues

- By Nicole Thomson

Cash grants for regional businesses most affected by the recent COVID-19 lockdown will proceed this week, unaffected by the easing of restrictio­ns in most areas outside Melbourne last week.

Victorian Industry Support and Recovery Minister Martin Pakula and Small Business Minister Jaala Pulford said full payment for the two weeks from September 2 to 16 — automatic deposits ranging from $5600 to $40,000 — would go ahead, as had always been intended.

Business Costs Assistance Program Round Four grants will be made to about 18,000 regional businesses at tiered levels, depending on worker numbers.

Businesses with an annual payroll of up to $650,000 will receive $5600 — equal to two weekly payments of $2800.

Businesses with a payroll of $650,000 to $3million will get $11,200 (two weekly payments of $5600) and businesses with a wages bill of $3million to $10million will receive $16,800 (two weekly payments of $8400).

The grants can be used to pay for costs such as wages, rent, utilities and insurance by businesses including gyms, cafés, hairdresse­rs, nail salons, dance and swim schools, and accommodat­ion, tourism and events businesses.

Some 2300 eligible cafés, restaurant­s, hotels and bars in regional areas will receive automatic payments through the Licensed Hospitalit­y Venue Fund.

Venues with a capacity of less than 100 people will receive $10,000 for the fortnight, those with a capacity of 100 to 499 will receive $20,000 while the largest venues will receive $40,000.

The Victorian Government will assess which sectors remain under severely impacted settings before making further announceme­nts on arrangemen­ts for the two-week period from September 17.

The $700million Small Business COVID Hardship Fund provides $20,000 to eligible businesses that do not qualify for other government programs and is open to all Victorian businesses, regardless of location.

More than 16,000 Hardship Fund grants have so far been paid to businesses that have experience­d a reduction in revenue of at least 70 per cent due to the effects of the pandemic.

The Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme requires landlords to provide proportion­ate rent relief for businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million that have experience­d a fall in turnover of 30 per cent or greater, regardless of location.

▯ For details on available business support grants, go to business. vic.gov.au or call 13 22 15.

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