Lockdown 4.0 Government Support

For the fourth time in 438 days the state of Victoria has been placed on ‘lockdown’ restrictions in response to the threat of a COVID-19 outbreak. And for at least the fourth time, the Victorian Government is rolling out an economic support package for businesses affected by these restrictions.

In addition to this, with JobKeeper now finished and not being brought back, the Government has announced a new targeted assistance program for certain people who have lost work as a result of the restrictions.

The Victorian Government announced the Circuit Breaker Business Support Package on 30th May to support small to medium businesses and sole traders unable to operate under the circuit breaker restrictions. This package is split into 2 categories:

  • Business Costs Assistance Program Round 2
  • Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund

The Victorian government has also announced a Victorian Events Support Package of which information is still being finalised.

Business Costs Assistance Program Round 2

For eligible businesses located in Metropolitan Melbourne, the grant amount is $5,000. However, if businesses are located in Regional Victoria, the grant amount would be $2,500 due to this week’s easing of restrictions in regional Victoria.

The grant’s for this round have a slightly different focus to earlier ones. They are not based on size of payroll or a loss of income, but are in fact based on incurring direct costs as a result of the circuit breaker lockdown, with examples given being utilities, wages and staff leave, rent, cancelled bookings and loss of perishable goods.

Standard eligibility criteria is:

  • The businesses must be located within Victoria;
  • Be registered as operating in an eligible industry;
  • Incurred direct costs as a result of the lockdown and the business cannot predominantly operate remotely;
  • Have annual Victorian payroll under $10,000,000 on an ungrouped basis;
  • Be ABN and GST registered on 27th May 2021

For employing businesses, registration with WorkSafe Victoria is mandatory as well as attesting that the business is supporting its workers to access any paid entitlements and/or supporting working from home options.

Eligibility needs to be demonstrated as part of the application process. What is new this round is that identity documents of a person as listed on the ABR must also be submitted. This may be business owner, co-owner, associate or authorised contact of the business.

Application for this program is open now and will close until funds allocations are exhausted or 24 June 2021, whichever is earlier.

Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund

This grant is specifically for Victorian businesses who operate a licensed bar, restaurant, pub, club, café or reception center that is registered to serve food and alcohol.

For those in regional Victoria, the amount entitled is $3,500 but for those in Metropolitan Melbourne, the grant amount is $7,000.

Note however, if businesses received a grant under the Business Costs Assistance program round two, there will be no entitlement to this licensed hospitality fund.

Businesses will be invited to submit an application for the grant using their registered eLicense email contact details. The Department will then send an application link. There will also be a need to provide a copy of the food certificate registration as well as identity documents.

Application for this program is open now and will close until funds allocations are exhausted or 24 June 2021, whichever is earlier.

Federal Government COVID Disaster Payment

The Federal Government has also unveiled a new temporary COVID disaster payment. With JobKeeper no longer in place, this is intended to be another temporary and scalable support measure that can be rolled out across the country if needed.

The program is administered and delivered by Centrelink-Services Australia. The amount an eligible person will receive is:

  • $500 if you would have worked more than 20 hours in the week the lockdown is; or
  • $325 if you’d usually work fewer than 20 hours

To be eligible for the payment, the person must be:

  • Aged 17 and over
  • Living or working in a Commonwealth hotspot area
  • Would have worked during the week if a lockdown was not imposed and would lose income because of it
  • Do not have access to special pandemic or sick leave (or have used it all up)
  • Have less than $10,000 in liquid assets (such as savings, shares that can be sold or loans that can be recouped. Credit card limits and super are excluded)
  • Not receiving any other Commonwealth Support Payment such as JobSeeker

Applications will be open on Tuesday 8th June via Services Australia.  More information is to be released soon, with the only information being that the payment can be claimed via myGov and that Australian residents can setup a myGov and Centrelink online account now.

Should you have any questions about business support please contact our Business Advisory Specialists on (03) 9835 8200 or alternatively fill in your details below and we will contact you.

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Chee Hii
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