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Government grants and other assistance available to businesses in Victoria

September 2020

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

The NSW government has also announced grants to support small businesses in parts of southern NSW.

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


Grants for employing SMEs in Victoria

  • Business Support Found – 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. Eligibility for this grant is tight, and 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. They must also be receiving JobKeeper and operate in an industry that has been closed or heavily restricted. Applications to open soon.

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, to be negotiated between the tenant and landlord. The Scheme has been extended until 31 December 2020.
    Download the Victorian Small Business Commission’s letter template that commercial tenants can use when requesting commercial rent relief.
  • A commercial landlord hardship grant is available to commercial landlords in Victoria that are facing financial hardship due to reduced rents under the Commercial Rent Relief Scheme. Each grant will be equal to the amount of the rent waiver the commercial landlord provided to a tenant, up to $3000 per eligible tenancy. A rent waiver is where the rent or part of the rent owed for an agreed period of time is never repaid. Applications for this grant opened on 21 August 2020 and will be open for eight weeks or until funds are exhausted, whichever comes first.
  • 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 that are affected by the Stay at Home 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

More information on this grant will be made available shortly. 

  • A Melbourne City Recovery Fund includes grants to assist SMEs to pay for equipment, convert spaces like rooftops and courtyards into hospitality zones, and remodel internal layouts to allow for the better flow of patrons. Details not yet available.
  • 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. Details not yet available.
  • A Victorian Live Music Venues program has been extended to provide grants of between $4000 to $50,000 to assist artists, managers, promoters, road crews and other industry workers find COVID-safe ways of working.

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 entire 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. More information on these vouchers will be made available shortly.
  • 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.  More information on this grant will be made available shortly.

Support for SMEs in Southern NSW

  • NSW businesses in 13 local government areas along the NSW/Victorian border can apply for the Southern border small business support grant. Small businesses, including non-employing sole traders who have suffered at least a 30 per cent decline in turnover as a result of the border closure, can apply for a $5000 grant while small businesses that employ between 0.5 and 20 full-time equivalent staff and have suffered at least a 75 per cent decline as a result of the closure can apply for a $10,000 grant.

CPA Australia has developed a summary of the grants and other assistance state and territory governments are providing to businesses impacted by COVID-1.