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Round 3 Business Support Fund – Sunday, 14 September

Dear Members,

After the shattering news of last week’s announcement that saw Stage 4 restrictions extended in metropolitan Melbourne, today’s announcement of a $3 billion relief package for Victorian businesses provides us with some glimmer of hope.

While these survival packages are critical in the current operating environment, what our industry wants is to open and to welcome customers back to our businesses – and that’s the focus of the discussions we are having across government.

You can read the media statement we released today here and you can read the detail of the package in the Premier’s media statement.

There’s also this link to an article published by the ABC, which contains excerpts from an interview I did on ABC24 this afternoon with Miriam Corowa.

In announcing the detail of the $3 billion package, Minister Pakula noted that these relief packages would target those industries and businesses that have been most affected by the impacts of the latest round of restrictions, focusing on hospitality, retail, accommodation and tourism.

Round 3 of the Business Support Fund
The announcement today noted the allocation of $822 million for a third extension to the Business Support Fund. Minister Pakula noted that government was working to ensure these funds would get allocated as quickly as possible via the Business Victoria website.

These grants will be made available to 78,000 businesses with payrolls up to $10 million.  Allocations will be based on the following –

  1. Companies with a payroll of less than $650,000 will be eligible to receive a $10,000 grant;
  2. For companies with payroll between $650,000 and $3 million, a grant of $15,000 will be made available; and
  3. Those companies with payroll between $3 million and $10 million will be eligible for a grant of $20,000.

Relief for sole traders
VTIC has for many weeks prosecuted the need for consideration of sole traders in future support packages. Our industry is comprised predominantly of SMEs and micro-businesses, many of whom are sole traders. This business segment has been largely overlooked in both the federal and state packages announced to date. It was good to hear Minister Pakula today indicate that a package for sole traders is being developed and we expect to hear more on that this week.

Dedicated fund for licensed venues in the hospitality sector  
A $251 million Licensed Venue Fund has been created that will see grants of between $10,000 and $30,000 made available for the hospitality industry across the state. Under this plan, varying levels of funding will be allocated as follows –

  1. For venues whose license allows for 1-20 patrons, they will be eligible for grants of $10,000 in regional Victoria and $15,000 in metro Melbourne;
  2. For venues with patron caps of between 21 and 100, regional Victorian operators are eligible for $15,000 grants, and those in metro Melbourne are eligible for grants of $20,000;
  3. For venues with patron caps of greater than 100, grants of $25,000 will be available in regional Victoria and $30,000 in metro Melbourne.

Payroll tax relief extended 
Treasurer, Tim Pallas, announced that government would be further extending payroll tax relief for the remainder of the 2020/21 financial year for businesses with payrolls of up to $10 million.

In addition, a further $137 million worth of tax relief packages will include waiving and deferring charges like liquor licensing fees, the congestion levy and increases to the landfill levy.

These measures will provide a $1.7 billion cash flow injection to eligible businesses.

Click for Vic campaign extended
The coronavirus pandemic has hit many small producers and farm gates hard across Victoria. The relief package announced today will also include funds to expand the Click for Vic campaign that was recently launched by Visit Victoria.

Government will provide an $8.5 million boost to the campaign allowing for more marketing and advertising and expanding the digital platform and related partnerships with third-party e-commerce providers.

We expect that there will be further announcements through the week, and we will continue to update you as more advice becomes available.

In the meantime, VTIC is focused on negotiating a more reasonable Reopening Roadmap that can see our industry reactivate to a safe, but more effective schedule.

We are currently collaborating with other industry groups to ensure we deliver a collective and strong voice to government that puts forward a united proposal for our recovery. Survival packages like this are vital right now to support the industry, but we just want our businesses able to re-open safely and efficiently.

 

Kind regards,

Felicia Mariani
Chief Executive

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