A $100 million recovery fund created by the City of Melbourne and the Victorian Government will be used to reactivate the central city as the state progressively reopens.
The funds will be used to invest in programs and infrastructure to kick-start the economy and attract workers and visitors back to the city.
This will be achieved by extending outdoor trading hours, waiving permit fees, activating vacant shopfronts and increasing marketing, events and entertainment in the City of Melbourne.
The Melbourne City Recovery Fund includes:
- $30 million for small to medium sized businesses to rapidly adapt their operations to be more COVID Safe and comply with health directions.
- $30 million for COVID Safe events and cultural activities to attract visitors back to the central city.
- $40 million on infrastructure works to support the return of people to the central city through making the city more safe, accessible and sustainable.
"This fund will provide support for businesses to trade safely and help encourage customers back into the city once restrictions ease. These businesses are part of the fabric of our city and will be crucial to our recovery," said Lord Mayor Sally Capp.
"Funding to help local businesses become more COVID safe or expand their trade outdoors will be available as part of this package.
"The funding will also be used to tailor events so we can reactivate our city safely and provide a boost for hospitality and retail businesses."
The Fund includes $50 million from the City of Melbourne and $50 million from the Victorian Government.
The Lord Mayor said Melbourne's economy was booming before COVID-19, reaching a record $104 billion last year, which is 24 per cent of Victoria's Gross State Product.
"Economic research shows the pandemic could reduce Gross Local Product by up to $110 billion over the next five years compared to pre COVID-19 projections," said the Lord Mayor.
"I would like to thank the Premier for partnering with us in delivering a jointly funded recovery package for businesses and workers. This is great for kick-starting the economy and safely welcoming people back into our city."
The establishment of this new fund follows the announcement of a $3 billion business support package from the Victorian Government over the weekend comprising cash grants, tax relief and cashflow support.
More than $1.1 billion in cash grants will support SMEs, including $822 million as part of a third round of the Business Support Fund.
A cash grant scheme that has already given $1.47 billion to 108,000 businesses will also be expanded, with the government expecting around 75,000 eligible businesses with payrolls up to $10 million will receive grants of $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000 depending on their size.
Updated at 1.20pm AEST on 14 September 2020.
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