Victorian Government has announced two new support packages delivering over $3 billion in “cash grants, tax relief and cashflow support.” There are almost no details on the packages at this time but there are a few things we do know.

Cash grants for SMEs “most affected by coronavirus restrictions”

Out of the $3 billion doled out in the latest initiative, $522 million go towards the third round of Business Support Fund Grants. These grants of $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000 go to businesses with payrolls of up to $10 million (depending on size).

To be eligible for a grant from this program, applicants must:

  • Operate a business within Victoria;
  • Be registered in the JobKeeper scheme;
  • Be registered for GST and hold an ABN;
  • Have employee’s and be registered for WorkSafe; and
  • Have an annual payroll of less than $10 million within the 2019-20 year.

It is unclear what the eligibility criteria will be to meet the description of “most affected by coronavirus restrictions”. No further details are available as yet but will become available on the Third Round of Business Support Fund Grants official page when applications open.

The grant applications open on 18 September 2020.

$100 million Melbourne city recovery fund

In partnership with the Melbourne City Council, grants will be available for businesses to move their activities outdoors to fund COVID-19 safe infrastructure and events. The Melbourne City Recovery Fund includes:

  • $30 million for small to medium sized businesses to rapidly adapt their operations to be more COVID Safe and comply with health directions.
  • $30 million for COVID Safe events and cultural activities to attract visitors back to the central city.
  • $40 million on infrastructure works to support the return of people to the central city through making the city more safe, accessible and sustainable.

Approximately 33,000 sole traders are expected to qualify for grants generally in accommodation and tourism, non-permitted retail, media and film production, gyms, creative studios, outdoor entertainment, private museums and galleries…ect.

Creation of a Licenced Venue Fund

Grants of between $10,000 and $30,000 for licenced venues as well as liquor license fees for 2021 will be waived. Once again, the details on these initiatives are incomplete.

Payroll Tax

Payroll tax will be deferred (not waived) for businesses with payrolls up to $10 million for the full 2020-21 financial year. Originally the deferral applied to the first half of 2020-21.

Businesses with payrolls of $10m or over can defer payroll tax for the first quarter of 2020-21 under previously announced initiatives.

Fees and Charges

The 50% stamp duty discount for commercial and industrial property across all of regional Victoria has been brought forward to 1 January 2021, and the Vacant Residential Land Tax has been waived for properties that are vacant in 2020.

General

Grants of up to $20,000 have been used to support members of the chambers of commerce. Additionally, funding for a return post COVID-19 includes $44 million boost for business workshops. This boost is to assist with digital transformation and investment in products such as Shopify. And finally, $8.5m in additional funding for the Click for Vic website which works to promote Victorian businesses.