Support Builds For Businesses Through Lockdown

An injection of $282.5 million means 90,000 Victorian businesses and sole traders will now share in up to $484.3 million in support for the 12 days of the current vital public health action, with automatic top-ups for the lockdown extension to be made in coming days.

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.

Businesses that had chosen not to apply for these support programs in relation to the May/June lockdown, or had been ineligible to apply but are now eligible, will be welcome to apply for July lockdown support payments and will be considered outside of the automatic top-up process.

 

Discussions with the Commonwealth Government have confirmed that the vast majority of microbusinesses not registered for GST will be eligible for the Covid-19 Disaster Payment of $600/$375 per seven-day period. The Victorian Government will establish a concierge service to help these businesses access this support. 

More information about businesses support is available at business.vic.gov.au.

 

Business Support Package

The Victorian Government is backing businesses most affected by the seven-day circuit breaker action, including operators in the hospitality, retail, events and creative industries with further targeted support.

Victorians and Victorian businesses are doing the hard thing, but the right thing – keeping their doors shut to keep all of us safe.

That’s why we are announcing a $250.7 million Circuit Breaker Business Support Package to help up to 90,000 Victorian businesses that have been affected by the restrictions that will run until 11:59pm on Thursday, 3 June.

The package features three initiatives for small to medium-sized businesses and sole traders.

The $190.01 million second round of the Business Costs Assistance Program will offer grants of $2,500 for eligible businesses directly affected by the circuit-breaker industry restrictions.

Businesses can register their interest in the Business Costs Assistance Program at business.vic.gov.au, so they can be notified when applications open this week. Operators eligible for the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund payment will be contacted directly by email in coming days.

Grant opportunity: National Business Events Program

The Andrews Labor Government has opened the National Business Events Program to support the business events sector and boost the number of interstate visitors to Melbourne, now open to applications for grants of up to $25,000.

 

The program is being administered by the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) with eligible events including conferences, exhibitions, tradeshows, workshops and seminars. Up to 50 per cent of funding will be payable before the event commences to minimise upfront expenses for organisers.

 

To be eligible for funding, events must have a minimum two-day program and attract at least 150 in-person delegates, with 30 per cent or more of patrons coming from interstate. Other eligibility criteria include:

  • Have a minimum two-day business event program (with one-night stay).
  • Be a business to business (B2B) national event
  • Be held prior to 31 December 2022.
  • Venue cannot be contracted

 

Further information on eligibility criteria are in the Guidelines, which I have attached for your reference. To apply, go here: https://www.melbournecb.com.au/plan-event/national-business-events-program/.

Business Competitiveness Program

Through the Business Competitiveness Program, grants of up to $500,000 are available for eligible Victorian small to medium manufacturing businesses looking to expand their operations.

The program aims to create jobs, increase industry competitiveness and help strengthen local supply chains in traditional and emerging manufacturing sectors where Victoria has competitive advantages.

Seeking to invest in new manufacturing capabilities for your business but require project funding? Apply now for the first round, open until 11:59pm 20 June 2021. Please read the guidelines and FAQs before applying. 

https://business.vic.gov.au/grants-and-programs/manufacturing-and-industry-development-fund/business-competitiveness-program

Meet 100% Aussie Owned Gasco!

We need to make more things in Australia and we’re doing that right here thanks to amazing local businesses like Gasco Pty Ltd.

Gasco formed in 1991, are independent and 100% Aussie owned and that gets a big tick from me!

They design, manufacture, engineer, project manage, install, commission and service a whole stack of state of the art equipment and technology around gas and innovative technology solutions.

They work with companies locally and across the globe.

It was fantastic to get a tour from their Managing Director Nicholas and their Sales and Marketing Director Ian who took me through their exciting projects at current and the future that lies ahead.

Gasco is committed to supporting the Australian economy and employ around 100 people directly with many more through the supply chain.

I’m stoked to have great local businesses like this in our huge Bayswater Business Precinct.

For anyone who ever doubted it – let me tell you, we make things in Bayswater and the East!

Meet Bayswaters Router

Say g’day to Sheldon and James from Micron21 – the internet router of the Bayswater Business Precinct (BBP)!

Recently I was very lucky to get a personal guided tour of their facility, located in the very heart of the BBP – and let me tell you, it was impressive.

James, the CEO, has spent many years building their data-hosting business up from scratch, from an old factory with two walls and not much else, to the impressive building you see behind us.

They’ve got the ability to provide eye-watering internet speeds to locals, including every single business throughout the BBP, and with over 3,000 businesses, they’ve got their work cut out.

But from what I saw – top-notch security, multiple fail safes and a dedicated staff – they’re more than up to the task.

They’re yet another local business success story out our way, and I couldn’t be prouder Micron21 calls our neck of the woods home.

Check them out – and stay tuned as they gear up for their official opening very soon!

New tech adoption support for businesses

The Andrews Labor Government is helping small to medium-size businesses implement digital solutions that improve productivity, drive growth and create jobs through a new funding program.

The grants fall under one of two funding streams:

  • Stream 1 allows small to medium-sized enterprises to partner with a specialised technology provider to improve their productivity and competitiveness. The partnerships may include implementing new e-commerce systems, artificial intelligence or machine learning processes, data analytics, robotics or cyber security technology.
  • Stream 2 is for companies involved in technology development to create new products and services. Product development could be across areas including micro or nanotechnology, software for business-to-business messaging, fintech applications, healthcare equipment and retail technology.

The Labor Government will match contributions from applicants, with those applying required to contribute a minimum of $20,000 towards the total cost of projects.
www.business.vic.gov.au/support-for-your-business/grants-and-assistance/technology-adoption-and-innovation-program

Wages Subsidy Fund Open For Business

As part of the landmark Jobs Victoria initiative, Victorian small and medium-sized businesses, sole traders, local councils, social enterprises, universities and not-for-profits are invited to apply for a share of $250 million in wage subsidies to create new jobs for at least 10,000 people.

The Fund will help Victorian businesses and organisations to rebuild and grow by providing a wage subsidy of up to $20,000 per eligible employee to meet the costs of taking on new workers for the first 12 months of their employment.

The Jobs Victoria Fund recognises that women’s employment has been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, with $150 million of the fund dedicated to supporting women back into work, including $50 million supporting women over the age of 45.

The Fund also focuses on people looking for work who are young, those who have been unemployed for six months or more, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, refugees and asylum seekers, and people living with a disability.

For more go here – https://jobs.vic.gov.au/about-jobs-victoria/our-programs/jobs-victoria-fund

Cutting Energy Costs for Small Businesses

Recently we announced two new programs to help Victorian small businesses slash their energy bills and help them recover from the impacts of coronavirus.

The Solar for Business Program will provide 15,000 solar rebates to eligible small businesses, covering up to 50 per cent of the cost of a rooftop solar system up to $3,500.

The Small Business Energy Saver Program will provide bonuses of up to $2,000 to help small business install energy-efficient equipment such as air-conditioning, refrigeration equipment and heat pumps.

These programs are part of a more than $46 million investment in the 2020-21 State Budget dedicated to cheaper clean energy and energy efficiency for small business.

Business Costs Assistance Program Now Open

The new $92 million Business Costs Assistance Program is part of the Victorian Government’s $143 million Circuit Breaker Action Business Support Package and will assist small businesses, including sole traders, in highly impacted sectors, such as hospitality, food wholesaling, tourism, events, and selected retail.

The program offers grants of $2000 to small businesses, including sole traders, regardless of whether they employ people or not.

The grants will support businesses in eligible sectors who have incurred direct costs because of the circuit breaker action, such as the loss of perishable goods and flowers, booking cancellations, and foregone trading.

Details on full eligibility criteria, program guidelines, how to apply – click the link attached to this post.

Applicants should be encouraged to read all the information on this page, including the program guidelines and the frequently asked questions (FAQs) before applying.

The program will be open for applications until the date the program funds are exhausted or 11:59 pm on 16 March 2021, whichever is earlier.

Businesses requiring advice can be directed to the Business Victoria Hotline on 13 22 15.