Extended Government assistance package for metro and regional Victorian businesses

Roelof van der Merwe

On 13 September 2020, the Victorian Government announced a $3 billion Business Survival and Adaptation Package to help Victorian businesses:

  • Survive the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions on businesses being able to operate in Victoria; and
  • Adapt to the new way of doing business as COVID-19 restrictions ease in Victoria.

The main aim is to provide cash flow support to Victorian businesses in the form of cash grants, additional funding and tax relief.

Cash grant measures

  • $822 million to provide for grants of up to $20,000 for businesses operating in Victoria that had a payroll of less than $10 million in 2020 and participated in JobKeeper. The size of the grant will depend on the size of the payroll:
    - $10,000 grant if annual payroll is less than $650,000.
    - $15,000 grant if annual payroll between $650,000 and $3 million.
    - $20,000 grant if annual payroll between $3 million and $10 million.
  • $251 million to provide for grants of up to $30,000 for licensed hospitality businesses (e.g. licensed pubs, clubs, hotels, bars restaurants and reception centres).
  • $3 million to provide competitive grants to support metropolitan and regional business chambers and trader groups.
  • $4.3 million to provide for grants of up to $20,000 to help alpine businesses pay their service charges to the Alpine Resort Management Boards.
  • $100 million to provide grants of up to $3,000 to over 30,000 eligible sole traders who operate from a commercial premises or location to which the sole operator is the tenant or licensee.

Additional funding measures

  • $20 million voucher program to assist small businesses and sole traders to build their digital capability.
  • $15.7 million package to help Victorian exporters establish new trade channels by addressing logistics and supply chain issues caused by COVID-19 and hosting virtual trade missions.
  • A $8.5 million expansion to the “Click for Vic” campaign to help support local Victorian businesses.
  • A $87.5 million Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package to support hospitality businesses prepare to re-open again.
  • A $100 million Melbourne City Recovery Fund to support Melbourne on the roadmap for reopening.

Tax relief measures

  • $1.7 billion in payroll tax deferrals for the whole of the 2021 income tax year for businesses with payrolls up to $10 million (previously such businesses were given payroll tax liability deferrals up to 31 December 2020).
  • $41 million to bring forward the 50% stamp duty discount for commercial and industrial properties located anywhere in regional Victoria (currently a 20% discount applies only for commercial and industrial properties located in bushfire affected areas in certain parts of Regional Victoria).
  • $33 million to defer the planned increase in the landfill levy for six months.
  • $30 million to waive 25% of the Congestion Levy that applies to off-street private and public car parking spaces in inner Melbourne and deferring payment of the outstanding 75% Congestion Levy balance to 2021.
  • $27 million in liquor license fee waivers for 2021.
  • $6 million to waive Vacant Residential Land Tax on properties that were vacant in 2020

The survival of Victorian businesses and rapid return to prosperity is vital to the identity of Melbourne and regional Victoria and to the livelihoods of all who rely upon them. The latest package of support from the Government will assist these businesses during the current crisis and help them to emerge out the other end.

With our significant regional presence in Victoria, Findex is uniquely equipped to proactively address any questions you may have as well as work with you on strategies to help your business survive, adapt and thrive to these changed conditions.

If you have specific questions about the relief measures available for your business in Victoria, please get in touch with your adviser or contact the Crowe Tax Advisory team.