In the latest news from Victoria… A new government support package was announced for small businesses most impacted by the coronavirus, in addition to this, the travel voucher system has also been expanded and hospitality, tourism, and events operators can expect a cash injection.
The $143 million Circuit Breaker Support Package announced on Sunday 21 is expected to help more than 50,000 Victorian businesses. The package contains four initiatives targeted at businesses, including small and micro businesses.
Industry body, the Accommodation Association welcomed the news and says the Victorian government support measures will provide much needed relief for hotels, motels and accommodation providers hit hard by the state’s COVID restrictions, snap shutdowns and border closures. The Accommodation Association continues to work closely with Victoria’s Tourism Industry Council to ensure the tourism industry continues to receive support to offset the impact of Government-mandated closures.
Accommodation Association CEO Dean Long said: “On behalf of Victoria’s hotels, motels and accommodation providers, we welcome this acknowledgment from the State Government of the devastating impact of its coronavirus circuit-breaker strategy and look forward to continuing to work closely to get the balance right in successfully managing the risk.”
“Hotels and motels simply aren’t businesses that can stop and start suddenly. This most recent shutdown ahead of the Valentine Day weekend, one of the busiest times of the year, came after most dining and bar facilities and hotels had stocked up in anticipation. It would be great to get to the point where we had greater transparency around the decision frameworks all State and Territory Governments are using, including Victoria, so that we can appropriately plan.”
The $143 million Circuit Breaker Support Package consists of:
- A new $92 million Business Costs Assistance Program with grants of $2000 for businesses in the tourism, hospitality, food wholesaling, events and selected retail industries with an annual payroll of up to $3 million;
- A $24.9 million boost to the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund which will see previous recipients receive a one-off $3000 payment per premises;
- The $16.2 million Victorian Accommodation Support Program which recognises the hit of cancellations on regional and metropolitan accommodation providers allowing providers with 10 and under cancellations to apply for $2250 per business and those with more than 10 cancellations to apply for $4500 per business;
- A $10 million injection to expand the Regional Travel Voucher Scheme to include a new Melbourne Travel Voucher with 40,000 vouchers for $200 for travel in greater Melbourne plus an additional 10,000 vouchers in regional Victoria.
The Andrews Labor Government has provided more than $6 billion in direct economic support for businesses and workers to help them get through the pandemic and recover strongly, including $2.6 billion alone in Business Support Fund grants to 134,000 businesses – more than half of all employing businesses in Victoria.
Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Martin Pakula said: “Victorian businesses played their part in the circuit breaker action and this package recognises that the impact for many was severe.”
Minister for Small Business Jaala Pulford added: “We know it hurt businesses to shut their doors, but the long-term benefits are clear. A temporary pause has meant businesses can now get on with their rebuilding – with our full support.”