The Victorian government reinstated restrictions across metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire to slow recently growing community spread of COVID-19.
In a recent announcement, the stimulus package includes:
- cash grants of $5,000 for more than 80,000 eligible businesses as part of the government’s expanded Business Support Fund
- a $20 million CBD Business Support Fund for small businesses in Melbourne’s Central Business District
- a $26 million investment in mental health support aimed at business owners
- a $10 million business mentoring program, pairing small-business owners with experienced professionals who can help them navigate their way through the crisis
- a $40 million capped fund for regional tourism operators to cover the costs of refunds as well as marketing campaigns to boost region-to-region visitation while Melbourne is in lockdown. Eligible operators will also be able to claim up to $225 per night for up to five nights for each and every room cancelled due to the restrictions, provided they refund the booking in full
- a dedicated fund of $30 million for the worst-hit businesses in hospitality and the state’s night-time economy
- affected businesses with payrolls up to $10 million can defer their tax liabilities for the first half of the 2020–21 financial year
Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas said the package was developed with close consultation with the Victorian business chamber and with the Australian Hotels Association.
“It is the latest in of course a very long line of packages of support that the Government has introduced and provided,” he said.
“Now as a Treasurer, we don’t normally take a great deal of joy in providing funds that essentially go directly to our capacity to manage efficient budgets but what’s more important.
“What’s critically important is that the wellbeing of Victorians and Victorian industry and business is first and foremost in our thinking during these difficult times.
“That is our driving focus and that will be the effort where we put our continuing support over the weeks to come.”
The Victorian government has already provided $6 billion in economic relief since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March.