A wide-reaching support package has been announced in Victoria that will encourage people to get out and enjoy the state's cultural offering, while equipping businesses with the tools to lift confidence and capacity through improved ventilation, job placements and digitalisation.
The state government's $200 million package aims to help businesses recover strongly from the effects of the Omicron variant, targeting key sectors such as hospitality and tourism.
A new and extended $100 million voucher scheme will provide rebates to Victorians for entertainment, dining and travel with a $10 million round of Melbourne Money to be delivered with the City of Melbourne, enticing diners back to city cafes, bars and restaurants by reimbursing part of their bill.
The scheme will be extended across the state, with a new $30 million program providing rebates on food and wine experiences in regional areas and in suburbs beyond Melbourne’s borders.
A new entertainment voucher scheme will provide $30 million in rebates for tickets to the theatre, live music, cinemas, museums, galleries, conferences, exhibitions and other events across Victoria.
A new $30 million round of the Victorian Travel Voucher Scheme will encourage even more people to holiday at home and spend on accommodation, attractions and tours.
"This will help businesses in the creative sector while encouraging Victorians to get back to what they love doing," says Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson.
"Our arts and cultural scene was hit hard by the global pandemic and that’s why we’re supporting these businesses to bounce back in 2022."
The fresh stimulus also includes a $60 million Ventilation Voucher Program to help small businesses purchase equipment and upgrades to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace and improve customer confidence, with rebates of up to $5,000 available as well as $500 vouchers.
The government is also taking steps to support jobs, training and upgrading systems to new technologies. Some $34.2 million of Jobs Victoria funding will be used to place workers in more than 1,500 jobs across hospitality, warehousing and logistics, tourism and food processing.
A further $5 million will extend the Small Business Digital Adaptation Program, providing rebates of up to $1,200 so businesses can access a range of digital tools.
The extension of the Business Recovery and Resilience Mentoring Program with the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry will also mean more small businesses will have access to coaching.
“We’re encouraging Victorians to experience the best the state has to offer by going to see a show, having lunch with friends or visiting somewhere new," says Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Martin Pakula.
“Business and consumer confidence is critical for our continued economic recovery and that’s why we’re investing in these programs to deliver a boost where it is needed most.”
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