Government grants and other help available to Victorian businesses

Content Summary

Updated 1 November 2020

This article was current at the time of publication.

In addition to the JobKeeper Scheme and the cash flow boost, the Victorian Government has announced a range of grants and measures to support businesses.

Below is a summary of the available state government support as well as links to further information.

Grants for employing SMEs in Victoria

  • Business Support Fund — third round — employing businesses in a limited range of sectors may be eligible for an additional grant of $10,000 if their annual payroll is less than $650,000, $15,000 if their annual payroll is between $650,000 to $3 million and $20,000 if their payroll is between $3 million and $10 million. The grants can be used for meeting business costs, seeking business advice and any other supporting activities relating to business operations. Applications close 23 November 2020.

Grants for sole traders

  • A Sole Trader Support Fund offers grants of $3000 to non-employing sole traders. Only a small percentage of sole traders will be eligible. Eligibility conditions include that the sole trader must operate from a premises that is not their residence and be a tenant of that business premises or be the owner/occupier. They must also be receiving JobKeeper and operate in an industry that has been closed or heavily restricted. Applications are now open.

Support for commercial landlords and tenants in Victoria

  • The Commercial Rent Relief Scheme provides rent relief in the form of a rent payment waiver or deferral proportionate to the tenant’s reduction in income because of COVID-19. This is to be negotiated between the tenant and landlord in good faith. The Scheme has been extended until 31 December 2020.
  • Landlords of residential and commercial properties who provide a 50 per cent or more outright rent waiver of at least three months' rent to eligible tenants can claim a 50 per cent waiver of the property’s 2020 land tax.
  • Owner-occupiers of commercial properties can obtain a 25 per cent waiver of the property’s 2020 land tax if their business meets several conditions, including participating in the JobKeeper Scheme.
  • A land tax deferral is available to landowners to defer the remainder of their 2020 land tax to 31 March 2021.

Grants for hospitality and tourism businesses

  • A Hospitality Business Grant of $25,000 is available to Victorian food service businesses affected by the lockdown restrictions. Eligible businesses that operate more than one premises may be eligible for an additional grant of $5000 for each additional premises in Victoria up to $20,000. To be eligible, the business must hold a Class 2 or 3 Service Sector — Certificate of Registration and have an annual payroll of between $3 million to $10 million in 2019-20. Applications are now open.
  • A Melbourne CBD Small Hospitality Grant provides grants of $5000 (for businesses with a food service seating capacity of 11 to 100 seats) or $15,000 (for businesses with a food service seating capacity of 101 or more seats). It is only available to businesses in the Melbourne CBD, World Trade Centre, Southbank and Docklands. Applications are now open.
  • A Licensed Hospitality Business grant will be available to licensed venues in the following circumstances:
    • if patron capacity is one to 20 — $10,000 for regional and $15,000 for metro
    • if patron capacity is 21 to 100 — $15,000 for regional and $20,000 for metro
    • if patron capacity is 101 or more — $25,000 for regional and $30,000 for metro
      Applications close 23 November 2020.
  • An Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package includes grants of up to $5000 for hospitality businesses with an annual payroll of less than $3 million to help them adapt to outdoor dining. The premises must be in Victoria but not the City of Melbourne. Applications close 11 December 2020.
  • A Victorian Live Music Venues program has been extended to provide grants of between $4000 to $50,000 to help artists, managers, promoters, road crews and other industry workers find COVID-safe ways of working. Details not yet available.

Other support announced by the Victorian Government

  • A payroll tax deferral has been extended to businesses with a payroll of less than $10 million (up from $3 million) for the 2020-21 financial year (previously the deferral was only available for the first three months of the financial year).
  • Vouchers will be made available to small businesses and sole traders to build their digital capability. Details not yet available.
  • The government will defer the planned increase in the landfill levy for six months.
  • The government will waive 25 per cent of the Congestion Levy for car park owners this year, with the balance deferred.
  • The government will waive the Vacant Residential Land Tax for 2020.
  • Renewable liquor license fees for 2020 and 2021 will be waived (previously only 2020), with businesses that have already paid being reimbursed. 
  • Alpine businesses will be entitled to grants of up to $20,000 to help them pay a service charge to the alpine resort management boards. Details not yet available.
  • Animal exhibitors can apply for grants to cover the costs associated with maintaining animal welfare such as feed and veterinary costs. Licensed or permitted animal exhibitor businesses are entitled to grants of up to $15,000 per business while businesses not required to hold a permit to exhibit animals are entitled to grants of $1000. Applications close 30 November 2020.


A summary of assistance

CPA Australia has developed a summary of the grants and other assistance state and territory governments are providing to businesses impacted by COVID-19 .