One day after revealing its $3 billion support fund to assist Victorian businesses, the Victorian Government announced a $290 million package aimed at supporting sole traders, the entertainment industry and repurposing Melbourne’s CBD to aid in the recovery from COVID-19 impacts.
$100m Sole Trader Support Fund
This fund will provide grants of $3,000 to eligible sole traders working in sectors of the economy that will continue to be negatively affected by the restrictions in place under the Second Step of the Victorian Government’s roadmap to reopening.
Around 33,000 sole traders working in industries such as accommodation and tourism, media and film production, creative studios, outdoor entertainment, private museums and galleries, some non-permitted retail, gyms and more are expected to be eligible.
To be eligible to apply for a grant, sole traders must:
- be a tenant or licensee in a commercial premises or location, and
- operate in a sector of the economy that is restricted, heavily restricted or not opening under the Second Step of the roadmap to reopening
$87.5m Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package
The Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package will provide $87.5 million to councils and businesses outside of Melbourne’s CBD to make outdoor dining experiences safe and practical under COVID-19 restrictions.
Businesses will be able to apply for grants of up to $5,000 to fund the purchase of practicalities such as umbrellas, outdoor furniture, perspex screens and other equipment. Funds will also be used to invest in training, advertising and other business needs.
The grants will be available to the following businesses with a payroll of less than $3 million:
- Licensed and unlicensed cafés, restaurants, takeaway food businesses, pubs, taverns, bars and clubs
As part of the Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package, funding of $29.5 million will be provided to local councils to streamline the new permits, enforcement and monitoring processes required to facilitate the expanded outdoor dining in the Third Step of the roadmap to reopening.
The amount of monetary assistance councils will be eligible for is:
- Metropolitan and regional city councils – up to $500,000
- Rural councils – up to $250,000
This money is also able to be passed on to businesses in the form of reduced/waived permit fees or investment in infrastructures such as lighting and streetscaping.
$100m Melbourne City Recovery Fund
The Melbourne City Recovery Fund is a partnership between the Victorian Government and the City of Melbourne to support businesses in the steps to reopening to COVID Normal. It will provide grants to city businesses, helping them to move outdoors with COVIDSafe events and kickstart the reinvigoration of the CBD.
The breakdown of the funding is as follows:
- $30 million worth of grants for small and medium businesses to adapt their operations to comply with COVIDSafe requirements (eg convert spaces like rooftops and courtyards into hospitality zones and remodel internal layouts to allow for the better flow of patrons)
- $30 million towards supporting COVIDSafe events and cultural activities to encourage people to return back to the CBD when restrictions are eased
- $40 million towards CBD streetscape improvements (eg wider footpaths, bollards etc) to support the return of people to the city in a safe, accessible and sustainable manner
Further information about these business support initiatives will be released by the Victorian Government in due course. In the meantime, you can find out more via the Business Victoria website.
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