Victorian COVID Support

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Insights From MCA Accountants

Victorian COVID Support

As we continue to remain locked down as we approach the required vaccination rates, the Victorian and Federal Governments are continually changing the support available to individuals and businesses.

Key Links

We have done our best to summarise the most useful grants and assistance available to Victorian businesses and individuals – however it is constantly changing and the State Government does not provide information to us – so we are piecing together media releases just like everyone else and as such this list may not be 100% complete.

You should continually review the websites mentioned in the article for up to date information.

BUSINESSES

Pretty much all business support is being managed via the Victorian Government’s grants & programs website. As of the time of writing, grants include:

https://business.vic.gov.au/grants-and-programs/business-costs-assistance-program-grants-and-top-up-payments/business-costs-assistance-program-round-four-construction

With the construction industry being shut down for 2 weeks, the State Government will be offering grants of:

  • $2,000 for non-employing businesses;
  • $2,800 for businesses with annual payroll under $650,000;
  • $5,600 for businesses with annual payroll under $3mil (but over $650k); and
  • $8,400 for businesses with annual payroll under $10mil (but over $3mil).

 
Businesses must be:

  • in the construction industry (a full list of industry descriptions and codes is detailed on the grant’s website);
  • located in metropolitan Melbourne, or the Geelong, Mitchell, or Surf Coast Shires;
  • have been impacted by the shutdowns;
  • be registered for GST; and
  • not have received the business costs assistance grant (round 2).

 
In order to apply, your “ANZIC code” detailed on your ABN registration needs to match one of those detailed. An ANZIC code is basically your industry code (e.g. 3011 = house construction, 3019 = other residential building construction).

Instructions on how to update the ANZIC code on your ABN record is detailed at https://business.vic.gov.au/grants-and-programs/business-costs-assistance-program-grants-and-top-up-payments/business-costs-assistance-program-round-two-july-extension/how-to-view-and-update-your-anzsic-classification. We can also do this for current clients upon request (applicable cost is $99).

You can look up and search for ANZIC codes at https://fetchcodes.com/anzsic.

https://business.vic.gov.au/grants-and-programs/victorian-events-support-package/impacted-public-events-support-program-round-two

This grant is aimed at live performers with expected attendance of 1,000 people or more and provides $25,000 to event organisers and $10,000 to suppliers.

https://business.vic.gov.au/grants-and-programs/small-scale-and-craft-program/stream-three

Grants of $25,000 to $100,000 are available to eligible small-scale and craft agribusinesses for projects that:

  • create cohesive visitor experiences that showcase Victoria’s premium small-scale and craft products and has the potential to become an ongoing tourist attraction
  • develop new agri-visitor experiences across Victoria
  • ensure Victoria continues to be a leader in artisanal produce, showcasing the sectors excellence, resilience, sustainability and local job creation
  • create opportunities for communities and visitors to engage with the unique small-scale and craft sector
  • increase understanding of and customer connection with Victoria’s small-scale agribusinesses.

https://business.vic.gov.au/grants-and-programs/small-business-digital-adaptation-program

$1,200 for businesses taking up selected software subscriptions (such as Xero, Shopify, Squarespace, and more)

https://business.vic.gov.au/grants-and-programs/sme-recovery-loan-scheme

The Federal Government is making it easier for eligible businesses to obtain a loan by guaranteeing 80% of the loan amount. This allows the bank to lend money with limited risk – which allows them to lend to “riskier” businesses.

Loans can be worth up to $5mil, for a max term of 10 years, and could have a 24 month repayment holiday.

https://business.vic.gov.au/grants-and-programs/commercial-tenancy-relief-scheme

Businesses are stuck paying rent, even when they are unable to use the premises (e.g. due to lockdowns). While the State Government isn’t offering to compensate businesses for this, they are forcing landlords to provide rent relief where the business has suffered a decline in turnover of 30% or more.

If eligible, landlords will be required to provide a 50% waiver, plus potentially a 50% deferral to the effected business. in addition, no evictions will be allowed, and no rental increases are permitted.

Landlords that are forced to give rent relief will receive minor compensation via reduced land tax.

https://business.vic.gov.au/grants-and-programs/commercial-landlord-hardship-fund-3

Where landlords provide rent relief under the above commercial tenancy relief scheme, they may be eligible for a grant between $6,000 and $10,000.

The grant is available to landlords that can show that their commercial rent is more than half of their total gross income.

Landlords may also be eligible for land tax relief (https://www.sro.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-land-tax-relief).

https://business.vic.gov.au/grants-and-programs/investment-fast-track-fund

Businesses that are investing in the regions may be eligible for Government support to get it done quickly.

The maximum grant amount is $500,000 and can be provided:

  • To provide better infrastructure, facilities and services in rural and regional Victoria.
  • To strengthen the economic, social and environmental bases of communities in rural and regional Victoria.
  • To create jobs and improve career opportunities in rural and regional Victoria.
  • To support the development and planning of local projects in rural and regional Victoria

https://business.vic.gov.au/grants-and-programs/small-business-covid-hardship-fund

This grant was initially $10,000 for business that had a drop in turnover of 70%, and had not been eligible for previous industry specific grants.

Applications have closed, but there have been a few increases to the amount (currently $20,000) and all approved businesses will automatically get additional payments.

https://business.vic.gov.au/grants-and-programs/business-costs-assistance-program-grants-and-top-up-payments

Businesses that were eligible for the business costs support grant (round 2) will automatically receive additional payments until the state hits it’s 80% vaccination target, expected to be 5 November.

This grant was aimed at businesses is specific industries that were hardest hit by lockdowns in May / June 2021, a full list of industries can be found on the grant website.

Non-employing businesses will receive $1,000 per week, with employing businesses receiving between $2,800 and $8,400 depending on the size of their payroll.

https://business.vic.gov.au/grants-and-programs/circuit-breaker-business-support-package/licensed-hospitality-venue-fund-2021-top-up-payments-and-cbd-payment

This grant was initially $3.500 for regional businesses that held a liquor licence and $7,000 for those operating in metropolitan Melbourne. Top ups are between $5,000 and $20,000 per week depending on venue capacity.

Applications have closed, but there have been a few increases to the amount and all approved businesses will automatically get additional payments.

https://business.vic.gov.au/grants-and-programs/jobs-victoria-fund

The State Government is providing wage subsidies of $20,000 to businesses that employee what they are calling “priority jobseekers”, which are primarily women and disadvantaged people.

INDIVIDUALS

Click on the below headings to expand each one and read more detail.

https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/covid-19-disaster-payment

In Victoria, employees that lose work and income due to restrictions may be eligible for payments of either $450 per week or $750 per week. You need to have lost 8 hours or more, and not have been paid pandemic leave (see below), annual leave, or sick leave.

Claims are handled by Centrelink – to make a claim you need to do so via your MyGov account (you may need to link it with Centrelink first).

Payments are automatic (once the initial application is done) until the state reaches its 70% vaccination target – in which case individuals need to reapply each week to confirm continued eligibility.

Once the state reaches its 80% vaccination target, payments will only be available in limited circumstances.

https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/pandemic-leave-disaster-payment-victoria

If you have been directed to isolate or quarantine due to COVID (incl visiting an exposure site), and you will not receive any income from work, you may be eligible for a payment of $1,500 for every 14 days you are in isolation.

https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/450-coronavirus-covid-19-test-isolation-payment

If you have been directed to isolate due to taking a COVID test and you have received no income during your isolation, you may be entitled to a payment of $450.

https://services.dffh.vic.gov.au/utility-relief-grant-scheme

Low income households (with a concession card) may be eligible up to $1,300 for assistance in paying their bills.

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