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  • Writer's pictureCDG Chartered Accounting

Victorian Business Grants 1: What is available, and am I eligible?

The year 2020 has a been a difficult one, that none of us would have envisioned if asked a year ago. COVID-19 turned into a bigger issue than many of us were expecting, and we are still in the middle of it. With Jobkeeper and Jobseeker decreasing this week, this post will look into what additional help may be available, especially to our Victorian readers.

Some readers may be aware that the Victorian Government announced a $3 billion support package in recent weeks. A ‘support package’ is often over-hyped, and regularly large amounts of this ‘funding’ are actual tax savings, fee deferrals or the kind, which are not cash grants. However, this particular support package does include grants, and there are many different grants available, summarised below:

- Business Support Fund (Third Round)

- Licensed Venue Fund (Hospitality Only)

- Sole Trader Support Fund

- Alpine Business Support Fund

- Business Chambers and Trader Groups Grants

- The Melbourne City Recovery Fund

- Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package (Hospitality)

- A number of other schemes, deferrals and tax waivers.

The Business Support Fund should be familiar to most, given it was the original grant that has been reissued in varying amounts since the original lockdowns back in April. The business support fund round 3 is currently taking applications, and closes on the 23rd of November OR if funds are exhausted, whichever comes first. Broadly, eligible businesses will operate in Victoria, have an annual payroll (less than $10 million), be registered with Worksafe Victoria, hold an ABN, be registered for GST, and be on the list of eligible ANZSIC classes (type of industry). The grant is between $10,000 and $20,000 depending on the size of the business’s payroll.

The Licensed Venue Fund is similar to the Business Support Fund, however more generous and is aimed solely at hospitality venues. Unlike the Support Fund, the Licensed Venue Fund grant amount is based on the business’s patron capacity (in normal circumstances) and their location (Regional or Metropolitan). For example, a regional restaurant with a patron capacity of 80 would be entitled to a $15,000 grant under the scheme. A metropolitan equivalent would be entitled to $20,000 under the scheme. Other criteria are that the venue must hold a Class 2 or 3 Service Sector Certificate of Registration under the Food Act 1984 (VIC) and operate a pub, club, hotel, bar, restaurant, or reception centre (functions). A vital note with this grant; if you are eligible for both the Business Support Fund AND the Licensed Venue Fund, you are only able to receive one, so do not rush into an application for EITHER of these grants until you have read the eligibility of both, and the funding amounts, and choose the most beneficial based on your circumstances.

The above two grants are the most broad and easy to qualify for, and they will be relevant to most small businesses in Victoria. The other grants above will be considered in more depth in a follow-up post in coming days. The key-take from the above two grants is that hospitality businesses will regularly qualify for both grants, however typically the Licensed Venue Fund will provide a larger grant than the Business Support Fund, so businesses must compare the two before making any applications. We do provide a grant review and application service within the firm, and would be happy to help with grant applications as part of our standard service, so feel free to reach out with any questions, we would love to help.

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