The Victorian Government has announced a $3 billion support package to
help businesses get through the ongoing lockdown restrictions that authorities
hope will bring COVID under control in the state.
The package has been formulated on the back of feedback gleaned in the
last few weeks from business owners by the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and
Industry. It will include cash grants – the third round provided by the the
Business Support Fund – a dedicated Licensed Venue Fund, specific grants for
alpine resorts and local business groups, an extension of the deferral of
payroll tax and various other waivers and deferrals of charges.
The measures come on top of a $15.7 million export recovery package aimed
specifically at helping Victoria’s small businesses. This initiative will offer
them access digital programs designed to help them make the transition to
operating online, a necessity for the majority of businesses under the new “COVID-normal”
“[This] announcement is a signal of confidence in business and will
provide hope for many businesses that may have been wondering how they will get
through the coming weeks of continued restrictions,” Victorian Chamber of
Commerce and Industry Chief Executive, Paul Guerra, said.
“It will be a lifeline for those businesses in desperate need that are
not likely to be able to open for some time under the current Government
roadmap. Significantly, there is targeted support for the hospitality sector,
along with support for accommodation and tourism, outdoor event venues, passenger
vehicles and hair and beauty businesses.
“This is what the business community has been calling for, a
forward-looking announcement that provides confidence in being able to manage
without cashflow for now, and how businesses can begin to reskill and recover
when the virus is under control,” Guerra said.
He sought to assure the Chamber’s members that the organisation will
work with them to let the state’s businesses know what support is available to
them as they strive to negotiate a path through the health and economic crisis.
“Our collective drive must be to get to COVID-normal as soon as possible
leaving no person, no worker and no business behind,” Guerras concluded.