Australia
11 August 2021 | Minutes to read: 8

Victorian Business Support Package

By Belinda Hudson

The Victorian Government has provided further detail on the Business Support Package, including greater clarity around the eligibility requirements and the documentation required for application. Key programs as part of the package are:

  • Business Costs Assistance Program (Round Two)
  • Business Continuity Fund
  • Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021
  • Alpine Business Support Program
  • Commonwealth Government COVID‑19 Disaster Payment
  • Small Business COVID Hardship Fund, and
  • Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme.

Support programs

Business Costs Assistance Program (Round Two)

Victoria’s Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two (BCAP2) assists eligible small to medium businesses in sectors most affected by the May-June 2021 COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria. Applications for this program will close on 13 August 2021.

The program offers grants of up to $7000 to eligible businesses, including employing and non-employing businesses, depending on their industry sector, location and the number of weeks they closed.

Read more >

Eligibility:

To be eligible for this grant, businesses must satisfy all the following criteria:

  1. Be located within Victoria
  2. Be registered as operating in an eligible industry as per your ANZSIC code
  3. Have incurred direct costs as a result of the lockdown and the business cannot predominantly operate remotely
  4. Have an annual payroll of up to $10 million for the 2020 Financial Year on an ungrouped basis
  5. Be registered for GST as of 15 July 2021
  6. Hold an ABN as of 15 July 2021, and
  7. Be registered with the responsible Commonwealth or Victorian Regulator.

For employing businesses only:

  1. Be registered with WorkSafe Victoria, and
  2. 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 circuit breaker action, and supporting their casual workers, where possible.

Other eligibility conditions:

  • Businesses that have received assistance through the Business Support Fund, payroll tax rebate/waiver, or other COVID-19 programs may apply for assistance under the Program.
  • Organisations that operate a private gender-exclusive club where membership is only by invitation or nomination by an existing member are not eligible for assistance under the Program.

BCAP2 requires the details of the applicant to be registered on the ABR record as an authorised contact, so please review if you need the ABR record to be updated before submission.

Businesses will not be eligible to receive a Business Costs Assistance Round Two – July

Extension Grant if they have received support under any of the following programs:

  • Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021
  • Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 – July Extension.

Further eligibility information can be found here.

Grant amount:

The program offers grants of up to $7000 to eligible small and medium businesses, including employing and non-employing businesses.

What you need to know before you apply:

If you have already received the BCAP Round 2 grant, this July extension amount is an automatic top up and you do not need to reapply.

List of Eligible ANZSIC Classes here.

Businesses in the following industry will most likely NOT be eligible:

  • Essential retail (i.e. supermarkets, food retailers, pharmacies)
  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Mining
  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing, and
  • Professional services (with some exceptions, such as wedding and events photographers).

How to apply for the Grant:

You can apply directly through by clicking here.

Please contact William Buck if you would like assistance.

Applicants must attest that they meet the eligibility criteria at the time of application and intend to remain trading at the end of the circuit breaker action.


FAQ:

https://business.vic.gov.au/grants-and-programs/business-costs-assistance-program-round-two-july-extension/faqs

Business Continuity Fund

The Business Continuity Fund provides a $5000 payment to businesses in 24 sectors that were affected by additional capacity limits when reopening in late July 2021 under COVID-19 restrictions.

This payment is in addition to the Business Costs Assistance Program July Top-Up payments announced on 16 and 21 July 2021, and the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Three payment announced on 6 August 2021.

Read more >

Grant amount:

Businesses in Melbourne’s CBD that receive a Business Continuity Fund payment will receive an additional $2000 payment. Recipients will be contacted from mid-August to confirm they will receive a payment. Business Continuity Fund payments will be processed automatically.

How to apply for the Grant:

You do not need to apply. It is an automatic payment to all eligible recipients.

The payment will go to recipients of the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two and the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two July Extension who are in 24 sectors that were affected by capacity limits when reopening in late July 2021 under COVID-19 restrictions.

FAQ:
https://business.vic.gov.au/grants-and-programs/circuit-breaker-business-support-package/business-continuity-fund/faqs

Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021

The Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 July Extension supports eligible licensed hospitality venues that were affected by the COVID-19 restrictions announced on 15 July 2021 but did not apply for the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 in June 2021.

Applications will close on 13 August 2021.

Read more >

Eligibility:

Liquor licensees who have received their application form link from Business Victoria are eligible to apply.

To be eligible for a grant, businesses must also:

  • operate a licensed bar, restaurant, pub, club, hotel, café or reception centre that is registered to serve food and alcohol (Premises) in Victoria on 15 July 2021
  • hold a general or late night (general), full club, restaurant and cafe, producer’s or on-premises, or late night (on-premises) liquor licence on 15 July 2021
  • provide a Class 2 or 3 Service Sector Certificate of Registration under the Food Act 1984 that is valid in 2020 or 2021 for serving food on the same premises
  • be registered for goods and services tax (GST) on 15 July 2021
  • hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN on 15 July 2021, and
  • be registered with the responsible Australian or Victorian regulator.

Businesses will not be eligible to receive a Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund July Extension grant if they have received support under any of the following programs:

  • Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 for the same premises
  • Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two
  • Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two July Extension.

For employing businesses only, the applicant must confirm that the business is supporting its workers (including casual workers, where possible) to access any paid leave entitlements, or that if a person can work from home, to work from home during the Victorian Government COVIDSafe restrictions.

Businesses who hold a food certificate but do not hold a liquor licence are not eligible for a grant under this program. Businesses who hold a liquor licence but cannot provide a food certificate for the same premises are also not eligible for a grant under this program.

Grant amount:

Eligible business can receive grants of $7200 for each eligible premises

What you need to know before you apply:

To receive this funding, venues will need to have received or been eligible for the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021.

How to apply for the Grant:

You can submit an application online through the form link sent by Business Victoria to the liquor licensee’s eLicence email address.

Only one application is permitted per premises. A business must submit a separate application for each premises if it has more than one premises under the same ABN.

FAQ:

https://business.vic.gov.au/grants-and-programs/licensed-hospitality-venue-fund-2021-july-extension/faqs

Alpine Business Support Program

Alpine Business Support will provide further payments of between $5000 (off-mountain) and $20,000 (employing businesses, on mountain).

Read more >

Grant amount:

Stream 1: On-mountain and Dinner Plain businesses

  • Up to $58,000 per premises for employing businesses (registered with WorkSafe Victoria)
  • Up to $33,000 for businesses not registered with WorkSafe Victoria.

Stream 2: Off-mountain businesses

  • The business Cost Assistance Program Round Three payment announced on Friday 6 August 2021
  • The Business Continuity Fund (if eligible)
  • The Top-Up payments for Business Cost Assistance Program Round Two and Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 announced on 16, 21 and 28 July.

What you need to know before you apply:

To be eligible for support under the program’s On-mountain and Dinner Plain stream, applicants must operate a business within a Victorian alpine resort or Dinner Plain in one of the following categories:

  • A food and beverage venue (restaurant, café, pub, bar or other food venue)
  • A retail outlet (rental, clothing, footwear, equipment, supermarket, pharmacy, gifts)
  • A business providing services directly to visitors or contributes to the visitor experience (transport, activities, entertainment, health and wellbeing), or
  • An accommodation business with a public on-site food and beverage venue or retail outlet.

Eligible businesses can only receive a grant for either the On-mountain or Off-mountain stream – businesses cannot receive funding from both streams.

How to apply for the Grant:

If you are an eligible business for the Alpine Resorts Winter Support Program, you should receive a phone call from the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions which will provide more  information on the Program and help you through the process.

If you haven’t received this phone call and think you could be eligible for funding, please contact alpineprograms@ecodev.vic.gov.au.

FAQ:

https://business.vic.gov.au/grants-and-programs/alpine-resorts-winter-support-program

Commonwealth Government COVID‑19 Disaster Payment

Individuals may also be eligible for financial support through the Commonwealth Government’s COVID-19 Disaster Payment.

Most microbusinesses not registered for GST are eligible for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment of $600 or $375 per week.

The Victorian Government is establishing a concierge service to help these businesses access this support.

Read more >

Grant amount:

Individuals qualify for $375 a week for less than 20 hours of work a week and $600 if more than 20 hours work

What you need to know before you apply:

Anyone who has lost work in a lockdown zone is eligible.

How to apply for the Grant: 

Apply through Services Australia: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/covid-19-disaster-payment-victoria

Small Business COVID Hardship Fund

The Victorian Government’s Small Business COVID Hardship Fund will assist eligible small and medium businesses:

  • whose operations have been severely impacted by COVID-19 restrictions that have been in place between 27 May 2021 and August 2021
  • that have experienced at least a 70% reduction in turnover as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions
  • that are ineligible for other key COVID-19 Victorian Government business grant programs that have been announced since 27 May 2021.
Read more >

Eligibility:

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.

Grant amount:

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

What you need to know before you apply:

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.

How to apply for the Grant:

Applications are open 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 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.  Please contact our office if would like us to assist.
  2. You can apply directly as a business owner and have the application verified by a qualified agent.  Please contact our office if you need assistance
  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.  There are options for businesses that don’t have comparable periods so please seek advice.

The Victorian Government or 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.

FAQ:

https://business.vic.gov.au/grants-and-programs/small-business-covid-hardship-fund/faqs

Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme

The previous scheme providing commercial tenancy relief had been reintroduced. There is separate support for landlords who provide relief to tenants.

Relief can be provided in line with a business’s reduction in turnover (fall of more than 30 per cent during the pandemic). Turnover should be compared from the final quarter in 2020-2021 to the final quarter of 2018-2019.  There are special arrangements for new businesses not operating in 2019.

More information can be found here.

For more information and assistance, please contact your local William Buck advisor.

Victorian Business Support Package

Belinda Hudson

Belinda is a Director in our Business Advisory division and is the national lead for William Buck's Health Services Group. Belinda has extensive knowledge in relation to the medical industry covering all areas of general and specialist practices providing advice in tax planning, service trusts, income tax and wealth creation strategies. She also works closely with SMEs and individuals to design and implement long term tax and accounting strategies tailored to their specific needs.

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