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Victorian Government Announces Financial Support for Businesses Hit by the Circuit Breaker Lockdown – Plus New Travel Vouchers

The $143 million package will provide cash payments for more than 50,000 Victorian businesses and sole traders. Here’s how to apply.

The Victorian government announced a $143 million “circuit breaker support package” on Sunday, designed to help businesses and sole traders that lost income during the state’s five-day lockdown.

Businesses were forced to close from February 12 to 18, a normally busy period with Valentine’s Day and the Lunar New Year celebrations taking place. Restaurants, bars, florists, musicians, artists, wedding celebrants, the events and accommodation industries will all receive support.

The package includes a $92 million business costs assistance program that will provide $2000 grants to eligible small businesses and sole traders. Applications begin this week and are open to businesses with an annual payroll of up to $3 million, which lost revenue as a result of the recent lockdown.

Licensed venues that previously received payments from the hospitality venue fund program will receive an automatic $3000 payment, but will not be eligible to apply for the new program.

There’s also a $16.2 million accommodation support program for accommodation providers who had bookings cancelled. Accommodation providers with 10 or fewer cancellations will receive $2,250, while those with 11 or more cancellations will get $4,500.

Victoria’s regional travel voucher scheme, which was exhausted in 30 minutes when it launched, will also be expanded to provide 40,000 vouchers for metropolitan Melbourne and 10,000 for regional Victoria.

To apply for the programs, businesses will have to demonstrate a loss of income during the circuit breaker lockdown period, and that they are running a payroll of less than $3 million. Applications for these programs are due to launch this week. Voucher applications are granted on a first-come, first-served basis and the state government says these will be available soon.

More information is available here.

See below to register your interest and apply for each grant once it becomes available:

Business Costs Assistance Program

Victorian Accommodation Support Program

Travel Voucher Scheme

Photography: Jake Roden

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