A jointly-funded package of grants from the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments will support thousands of small and medium-sized businesses through the next six weeks at which point Victoria is expected to reach 80 per cent vaccination.

The funding package of up to $2.27 billion announced today will support businesses most affected by restrictions as Victoria reaches the 70 per cent, then 80 per cent fully vaccinated thresholds on the state’s Roadmap to Deliver the National Plan.

At these key markers, forecast around 26 October and 5 November respectively, dining, entertainment, retail, sport, recreation and other sectors will progressively and safely open.

The package announced today provides businesses with further certainty that support will continue in line with Victoria’s Roadmap.  This will see more than 160,000 businesses receive support, ranging from retailers and gyms to hairdressers and hotels – mostly through automatic deposits into their bank accounts.

Of these, around 124,000 eligible businesses will receive automatic Business Costs Assistance Program grants ranging from $1,000 to $8,400 per week, rising according to payroll, until the end of October. Businesses that remain closed or severely restricted over the first two weeks of November will also receive automatic payments for that period.

More than 9,000 eligible cafes, restaurants, hotels and bars across Victoria will receive automatic Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund payments of between $5,000 and $20,000 per week until the end of October.

Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund payments will continue for the first half of November, set at reduced rates to reflect lower restrictions in place at that stage under Victoria’s Roadmap.

The package will also enable a further 30,000 businesses to receive a one-off $20,000 payment through the Small Business COVID Hardship Fund, taking the number of recipients to 65,000.

Since late July, the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments have joined forces to allocate $6.6 billion to help Victorian businesses remain viable through lockdown, with automatic payments and grants to help cover wages, rent, utilities and other costs.

Read the full article