Small Business COVID Hardship Fund

Applications for the Small Business COVID Hardship Fund opened on 12 August 2021.

For those businesses that are eligible, the program will offer grants of $10,000.

In order to apply for the Small Business COVID Hardship Fund, one of the key conditions is that the business must not have previously applied for and received grants under any of the below schemes:

  • Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two.
  • Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two Extension.
  • Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021.
  • Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 – July Extension.
  • Alpine Resorts Support Program.
  • Victorian Events Support Package, comprising of:
    • Sustainable Events Business Program
    • Impacted Public Events Support Program
    • Independent Cinema Support Program
    • Live Performance Support Program (Presenters)
    • Live Performance Support Program (Suppliers)

There are various conditions that need to be satisfied in order for a business to be eligible to apply for the Small Business COVID Hardship Fund. The conditions are:

  1. The business must be located in Victoria.
  2. The business must have experienced a reduction in turnover of at least 70% in any 2 week comparison period after 27 May 2021, as compared to a similar 2 week comparison period in 2019.
  3. The business must have had an annual payroll not exceeding $10M in the 2020 financial year (on an ungrouped basis).
  4. The business must have had an ABN and have been registered for GST on 28 July 2021.
  5. For businesses that have employees, the business must be registered with WorkSafe and attest that they have allowed employees to access paid leave entitlements and to work from home where possible.

Reduction in turnover condition

In relation to the 70% reduction in turnover condition, there are several further considerations:

If the business did not trade in 2019

If the business did not trade in 2019, the 70% reduction in turnover condition is measured against any 2 week period from 27 May 2021 as compared to any 2 week period between 1 February 2021 and 28 July 2021.

Calculating reduction in turnover

Turnover is calculated in the same way that the business calculates its turnover in their BAS.

Signoff by accountant

In order for the business to substantiate that it has experienced a reduction in turnover of at least 70% during the comparison periods, a qualified accountant is required to sign a declaration attesting to the reduction in turnover that has occurred. The accountant cannot be an employee or associate of the business making the application.

Applications for the Small Business COVID Hardship Fund remain open until 10 September 2021 or until such time as the funds allocated to the program are exhausted. Further details of the fund can be found on the Business Victoria website via this link.

To help you determine whether you may be eligible for this grant, we have prepared a questionnaire. Please click here to help you determine your eligibility.

If you believe that you may be eligible for the grant, please contact your Banks Group representative who can assist you with your application and with the attestation required in relation to the reduction in turnover.

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