Victoria unveils $283m business support boost as daily cases rise to 22

Victoria unveils $283m business support boost as daily cases rise to 22

The Victorian Government has announced a $282.5 million injection for its business support package, taking the total stimulus to $484.3 million in response to the current lockdown for the entire state.

Eligible Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund recipients will receive $4,200, taking the total payment to $7,200, while Business Costs Assistance Program recipients will receive $2,800, increasing the total grant to $4,800.

As flagged last week, businesses that registered for these schemes in the previous lockdown will receive automatic payments with $180 million already paid out over the past two days to more than 86,000 Victorian businesses.

Minister for Industry, Support and Recovery, Martin Pakula also welcomes new applications from businesses that either didn't register for support payments last time or were ineligible.

There has also been a lot of discussion about microbusinesses that are not registered for GST and turn over under $75,000 annually.

"I should make the point that at any level if you're registered for GST, whether you turn over $75,000 or not, you're eligible to apply for the business support payments," Pakula says.

"But discussions between our officials and Commonwealth officials over the last couple of days have made it clear that the vast majority of those microbusinesses who've lost income or lost hours will be eligible for the COVID-19 disaster payment of either $600 per seven-day period if they've lost over 20 hours of work, or $375 if it's between eight and 20, just as they were for JobKeeper."

"I'd make the point that those outside the Commonwealth-declared hotspots, those funds will be funded by the State Government."

Business Victoria will be setting up a 'concierge service' to help businesses apply for funds, with new rounds of funding as well for public events and event suppliers, sports clubs and Alpine operators.

Eligible public events and public events suppliers affected by the lockdown will receive support of up to $25,000 and $10,000 respectively through an extension of the Impacted Public Events Support Program.

A new round of the Live Performance Support programs, with funding of up to $7,000 for presenters and up to $2,000 for suppliers, has also been confirmed.

Alpine hospitality, retail, accommodation and experience operators that were eligible for grants of up to $15,000 will receive an extra $3,000 through a fresh $1.2 million injection, on top of any entitlements under the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund or Business Costs Assistance Program.

"We recognise that the snow season is a relatively short period of time, and so any impact during that season has a proportionately greater impact on businesses in the alpine regions because their earning capacity is not year-long," he says.

Combined with supports given during the May-June lockdown, today's injection takes the total Victorian Government stimulus up to just under $1 billion over the past three months, and $7 billion since the pandemic began.

Victorian COVID update

The state reported 22 new COVID-19 cases overnight, representing an increase on the 13 reported yesterday, but as was the case in NSW today this was partly due to record testing numbers of almost 60,000.

"Yesterday almost 60,000 people right across the state braved some pretty inclement weather to return the highest single day's worth of tests that we have seen in the 18 months of this pandemic," says Victoria's Minister for Health Martin Foley.

"And 98.8 per cent of those results are being turned around by the next day."

Foley reports 73 per cent of the new daily cases have been fully isolated during their period of infectivity.

"What this means is that our contact tracers and our restrictions are working in tandem as part of the public health team's toolkit to beat this virus back and to beat this outbreak back step by step, and that should give us confidence that this is a process that is working," he says.

"And it is working because millions of Victorians are backing it in and doing the right thing."

Of the new cases, five are connected to Trinity Grammar, five are linked to the restaurant Ms. Frankie, three are connected the pub Young & Jacksons, three are related to St Patricks Primary School Murrumbeena, two are linked to AAMI Park (both patrons seated within two or three rows of the index case), two are linked to Bacchus Marsh Grammar, one is a worker from the West Gate Tunnel, and one is a family member of an unlinked case from the northern suburbs.

"Half of the new cases today were household contacts of primary close contacts," he says.

There are now more than 18,000 primary close contacts in Victoria, and combined with secondary close contacts the number rises to 28,000.

Click here for a list of exposure sites in Victoria.

Updated at 12:44pm AEST on 21 July 2021.

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