Victorian Government offers up $534m as ‘survival support’ to businesses

The Victorian Government has announced a $534m Business Support Package as the state goes back into lockdown.

The latest measures include cash grants for struggling businesses, mental health support for business owners, and relief for tourism operators.

$40m will be directed towards regional tourism businesses to assist with giving consumers refunds as well as marketing campaigns to boost region-to-region visitation while Melbourne is locked down.

The Government’s existing Business Support Fund – which had stopped taking applications on 1 June, 2020 – will be expanded, and offer $5,000 to more than 80,000 eligible businesses to help them through the renewed restrictions. Businesses can register their interest here, however the site currently says “more details will be available soon” when it comes to eligibility.

$26m will go towards mental health support for business owners, while $10m will help establish a business mentoring program to assist with dealing with cash flow, reduced sales and debt. The program will pair small business owners with professionals who can help them navigate their way through the crisis.

Eligible businesses with payrolls up to $10m can also defer their liabilities for the six months to 31 December, 2020.

The state’s treasurer, Tim Pallas, said the state would survive.

“This is a blow for the Victorian economy and our hard-working businesses, but out economy is robust enough to help us get through to the other side.”

Minister for industry support and recovery, Martin Pakula, added: “Supporting our businesses, tourism operators and the night-time economy has never been more crucial – this targeted assistance will make a big difference to those doing it tough.”

And minister for small business, Jaala Pulford, said: “This pandemic is hard for so many of our small businesses and that’s why we’re making sure they have the support they need to survive, adapt and keep their employees on – so more Victorians can stay in jobs.”


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