Businesses receive cash grants as Victoria plans recovery
As lockdown restrictions continue to be gradually eased across the city, the Victoria state government and the City of Melbourne have announced a A$290 million (US$212 million) package to help struggling businesses recover from the pandemic.
A$100 million (US$73 million) will be allocated for 33,000 sole traders across Victoria, who will be eligible for grants of A$3,000 (US$2,194) to help pay for overheads.
Another A$100 million will go to a Melbourne city recovery fund to help businesses set up outdoors, convert rooftops and courtyards, and fund “COVID-safe events” to encourage people to return to the Central Business District.
This additional support package comes a day after the announcement of a business support package worth A$3 billion (US$2.2 billion), which Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews called the “biggest package of business support” the state has ever seen.
He added, “We’ve never seen anything like this before. It is an unprecedented set of challenges that businesses face. I understand that businesses are desperate, not just for profits, but for their people. They are desperate to open up.”
More then A$1.1 billion (US$804 million) will be allocated to SMEs the state government says are most affected by COVID-19 restrictions, while businesses with payrolls of up to A$10 million (US$7.3 million) will have their payroll tax deferred for the 2020-21 financial year.
Victoria’s unemployment rate is expected to hit a high of 11% in the December 2020 quarter, even as restrictions are being eased. People are now allowed to meet outdoors in groups of 10, while the majority of retail and shopping businesses are resuming operations.