Victorian Government Support

Package Update

Small Business COVID Hardship Fund

Business Victoria are providing $10,000 grants for eligible small and medium businesses that have experienced a reduction in turnover of at least 70%, and that have not received grants under any other Victorian Government program.

Applications are open from Thursday 12 August 2021 until program funds are exhausted or 11:59 pm on Friday 10 September 2021, whichever is earlier.

Please see the end of this article for further detail regarding eligibility for the Small Business COVID Hardship Fund.

Additional Support Packages from Business Victoria

Further to the Small Business COVID Hardship Fund, businesses will automatically receive grants from Business Victoria if they had previously applied for and received support in June and/or July 2021 under the following funds:

  • Business Cost Assistance Program Round Two
  • Alpine Business Support.

Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund

New payments of $5000 to $20,000 will be made to more than 8900 hospitality venues across Victoria that received funding support from the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund through the May/June and July lockdowns. Payments will be automatic and graded by venue capacity.

Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme

The Victorian State Government have reintroduced a Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme.

The reintroduced Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme will ease pressure by providing rent relief for eligible tenants, while separate support will be provided to landlords who do the right thing by their tenants.

The Scheme will be available to businesses with an annual turnover of less than $50 million and have suffered a decline in turnover of at least 30 per cent due to coronavirus.

Landlords will be required to provide proportional rent relief in line with a business's reduction in turnover. A mediation service for tenants and landlords will further support fair tenancy negotiations.

Tenants and landlords will be encouraged to enter negotiations directly, with the Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) available to provide mediation if parties cannot reach satisfactory agreement. Landlords will not be able to lock out or evict tenants without a determination from the VSBC.

Tenants and landlords can contact the Victorian Small Business Commission for further information on 13 87 22 or visit vsbc.vic.gov.au.

COVID-19 Disaster Payments for workers

Eligible workers who lose hours due to the lockdown will be eligible for support through the Commonwealth's COVID-19 Disaster Payment, as will businesses that do not qualify for Victorian Government support programs because they are not registered for GST.

More information about these payments will be available at Services Australia.

Further information

For more information on any of these support packages please see the Business Victoria website: News & updates | Business Victoria.

Small Business COVID Hardship Fund Eligibility

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible, businesses must:

  • be located within Victoria
  • as a direct consequence of COVID-19 restrictions since 27 May 2021 have experienced a reduction in turnover of at least 70% for a minimum consecutive two-week period comparable to a benchmark period in 2019
  • have an annual Victorian payroll of up to $10 million in 2019-20 on an ungrouped basis
  • have been registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) on and from 28 July 2021
  • hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN on and from 28 July 2021
  • be registered with the responsible Federal or State regulator.

Employing businesses must also:

  • be registered with WorkSafe Victoria
  • attest that the business is supporting its workers to access any paid leave entitlements, or that if a person can work from home, to work from home during the COVID-19 restrictions, and supporting their casual workers, where possible.

Businesses should ensure that all relevant registrations are up to date before applying for a grant under this program.

Information for other or previous grant recipients

Businesses that have received funding under any of the Victorian Government COVID-19 support packages launched on or after 27 May 2021 are not eligible for a grant under this program.

Businesses that have received assistance through the Business Support Fund, payroll tax rebate/waiver, or another COVID-19 program launched prior to 27 May 2021 may apply for assistance under this program.

For more information see frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Grant amount

Eligible businesses will receive a grant of $10,000.

How to apply

Applications are open from Thursday 12 August 2021 until program funds are exhausted or 11:59 pm on Friday 10 September 2021, whichever is earlier.

Check that your details on the Australian Business Register website are correct prior to submitting an application. Incorrect information may delay the assessment of your application.

You can choose to apply for this program in one of three ways:

1.A qualified agent (qualified accountant, registered tax agent or registered BAS agent) can apply on your behalf and verify the 70% drop in business turnover as part of the application. The qualified agent needs to attest that they are authorised to apply on your behalf.

2.You can apply directly as a business owner and have the application verified by a qualified agent (qualified accountant, registered tax agent or registered BAS agent) using the Small Business COVID Hardship Fund – Letter from the Qualified Agent template (DOCX 51.23 KB).

3.Business owners who do not have access to a qualified accountant, registered tax agent or registered BAS agent can register their interest for the program. Applicants may receive an Invitation to Apply email from the department. Applications received via the Invitation to Apply process may take up to 25 business days to process, due to the need for additional verification measures.

You must demonstrate a reduction in turnover of at least 70% for a minimum consecutive two-week period since 27 May 2021 as a direct consequence of COVID-19 restrictions, comparable to a benchmark period in 2019.

Businesses should compare their best consecutive two-week trading period between 27 May and 10 September 2019, with their worst consecutive two-week trading period between 27 May and 10 September 2021.

The Victorian Government or our representatives may audit your application, so you will need to produce evidence at the request of the Victorian Government.

If any information in your application is false or misleading, you may be asked to repay the grant.

Please read all the information on this page, the program guidelines and the frequently asked questions before applying.

Other information you need for your application

When applying for this grant you will need:

  • to demonstrate a reduction in turnover of at least 70% for a minimum consecutive two-week period since 27 May 2021 as a direct consequence of COVID-19 restrictions, comparable to a benchmark period in 2019
    • businesses should compare their best consecutive two-week trading period between 27 May and 10 September 2019, with their worst consecutive two-week trading period between 27 May and 10 September 2021
  • endorsement of the reduction in turnover by a qualified agent (qualified accountant, registered tax agent or registered BAS agent)
    • you may be required to provide evidence including a sales report, financial statement and/or a Business Activity Statement (BAS) to demonstrate the reduction in turnover
  • a valid proof of identity document (Australian driver licence, Australian Passport, Medicare Card or Australian visa information and foreign passport).

Incomplete or incorrect information may delay your application assessment. Please ensure you complete the application correctly and provide all relevant documentation.

For more information see frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Assessing your application

We will endeavour to process your application and notify you of a successful outcome within 15 business days of receiving a completed application.

There may be delays in notifying you of an outcome if your application:

  • does not meet all the eligibility criteria
  • does not have correct evidence or documentation
  • requires you to make changes
  • is a duplicate application for the same business
  • has incorrect information, such as ABN or bank details (for successful applicants)
  • contains incorrect details of the qualified accountant, registered tax agent or registered BAS agent, or if the qualified agent fails to endorse your business' reduction in turnover
  • does not include current or accurate information registered with relevant regulators or partner agencies, such as the State Revenue Office, Australian Business Register or WorkSafe Victoria.

We will contact you to provide updates on your application or seek additional information to process your application.

We consider the following circumstances when assessing your application:

  • any adverse findings by a regulator regarding a business
  • if your business is placed under external administration
  • if there is a petition to wind up or deregister a company or business
  • if your business is or becomes deregistered or unregistered (including cancellation or lapse in registration).

You can check the status of your application by logging into the Business Victoria Grants Portal.

Applicants with multiple businesses

You can only apply for one grant per ABN. If you have separate ABNs for your businesses, you must submit separate applications for each ABN. Each business or ABN must satisfy all the eligibility criteria.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Source: Small Business COVID Hardship Fund | Business Victoria