Victoria slates business support package with automatic payments

Victoria slates business support package with automatic payments

Automatic payments are expected to be made by the end of the lockdown, drawing on registries from grants given to businesses in the June-July lockdown, including the Alpine Support Program. Photo: Mt Hotham.

The Victorian Government will provide more than $200 million in assistance to businesses affected by the current lockdown, including automatic payments to some 86,000 businesses that were already registered during the last lockdown.

"If you got a grant last time, you'll get a grant this time," Premier Daniel Andrews says.

The Premier expects those automated payments will be made almost certainly before the end of this lockdown or early next week.

"It will be then a matter for your bank and your financial institution as to whether that money flows to you overnight or over a longer period," he says.

"We're wasting no time with that. That sense of shared effort is part of the partnership with the Commonwealth Government," he adds, in reference to a support package funded by both the Federal and State Governments to provide COVID disaster support payments to affected workers. 

Minister for Industry, Support and Recovery, Martin Pakula, says the package follows on from the Business Cost Assistance Program and the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund from the last lockdown in June.

"That was a $460 million package of which we've now paid out $413-414 million to 86,000 businesses," Pakula says.

"Every one of those businesses will receive an automatic top-up - $3,000 under the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund and $2,000 under the Business Cost Assistance Program.

"The events package that we announced still has capacity in it, so any events that are affected over this weekend, they'll be eligible to make application under that package as well."

Caps will also be increased for the Alpine resorts support package.

"I should also make the point that there are some 22-odd thousand businesses whose applications are still being processed because more details are being sought. Not every application is as simple and as straightforward as every other," Minister Pakula clarifies.

"We would expect those all to be resolved early next week. But they revolve around things like ABN details not being consistent with what's on the record and zip codes and things of the like.

"Some of the more complex cases are still being resolved, so that will ultimately increase the number of businesses paid out under the last scheme and consequently will increase the number of businesses that receive an automatic payment under this scheme."

That a support package was incoming was already flagged in yesterday's lockdown announcement, and in the 24 hours to midnight there were 10 new cases, taking the number of active cases to 36 of which 24 have an established link to the Sydney outbreak.

There are currently 126 exposure sites listed in Victoria.

Updated at 12:47pm AEST on 16 July 2021.

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