New Business Support Packages By William Buck on 15/09/20 - Mins to read: 3 minutes On 13 and 14 September 2020 the Victorian Government announced a range of new measures to support Victorian businesses through the extended Covid-19 lockdown. The measures come in distinct packages, with the key areas of focus for these measures being hospitality; small, medium and regional businesses; and exporters. As a number of the measures are only announcements thus far, we expect more information to be released regarding conditions and eligibility in the coming days. 1. Business Survival Package For eligible businesses – a third round of Business Support Fund grants between $10,000 and $20,000. The eligibility criteria appear to remain unchanged from the second round of grants earlier this year. Applications open on Friday 18 September 2020. Grants between $10,000 and $30,000 for licensed venues such as pubs, clubs, hotels, bars, restaurants and reception centres based on their capacity and location. Competitive grants program to assist business chamber and trader groups in providing support to their member groups. For Alpine businesses – a grant up to $20,000 to assist these businesses meeting service charges of Alpine Resort Management Boards. 2. Business Adaptation Package For sole traders and small businesses – a voucher program to assist these businesses in going digital and adapting to a digital marketplace. For small and local businesses – expansion of the ‘Click For Vic’ campaign. For Victorian exporters – assistance in solving export supply chain issues and opening new trade channels. 3. Waivers, Discounts and Deferrals For acquisitions of commercial or industrial property in regional Victoria from 1 January 2021, a discount of 50% on any Stamp Duty liability. For businesses with annual payrolls up to $10 million – deferral of Payroll Tax for the full 2021 financial year. *Note: this is a deferral only and the payroll tax will still need to be paid at some point in the future. Waiver of Vacant Residential Land Tax in respect of 2020. Waiver of Liquor License fees for 2021. Deferral of the Landfill Levy for six months. A 25% discount (waiver) on the Congestion Levy, and a payment deferral for any amounts outstanding. Further $290 million Business Support Package On 14 September 2020 the Victorian Government announced additional measures to support Victorian businesses. These measures aim to support the entertainment and hospitality industries, Melbourne’s CBD and non-CBD businesses and Sole Trader businesses. As a number of these relief measures are only announcements thus far, we expect more information to be released regarding conditions and eligibility in the coming days. 4. Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package Hospitality businesses: Grants of up to $5,000 for licensed and unlicensed cafés, restaurants, takeaway food businesses, pubs, taverns, bars and clubs with a payroll of less than $3 million to pay for outdoor entertainment equipment (such as umbrellas, outdoor furniture, screens and other equipment). Reactivating Melbourne City: The City of Melbourne and the Victorian Government will establish a Melbourne City Recovery Fund to finance infrastructure works to make the city more COVID-safe, help small businesses in the city adapt their operations to be more COVID-safe, to fund COVID-safe events and cultural activities within the city. $30 million of the Fund has been allocated to provide grants for small and medium businesses to assist with paying for equipment and to convert spaces into hospitality areas. Businesses outside Melbourne CBD: Funding to be provided to councils and eligible businesses outside of Melbourne’s CBD to make widespread outdoor dining COVID-safe and practical. 5. Business Survival Package – Addition Sole traders: Grants of up to $3,000 will be available to eligible sole traders who operate from a commercial premises or location to which the sole operator is the tenant or licensee. More detailed information is provided on the William Buck website here. And on the Victorian Government’s website here: https://www.business.vic.gov.au/support-for-your-business/grants-and-assistance/business-survival-and-adaptation-package https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/taking-footpaths-getting-ready-outdoor-dining Should you require assistance, or would like to discuss any of the above measures in more detail, please don’t hesitate to contact your William Buck adviser.