Victorian Business Support Fund

Over the weekend the Victorian Government released details of another round of the Business Support Fund to assist ease the financial burden being felt by many businesses in Victoria that are being adversely impacted by the ongoing lock downs.  The amount of financial support on offer is unlikely to ease much of the pain that small businesses are suffering and if you are a sole trader then this package is offering no assistance.  There is supposed to be further announcements setting out an assistance package to those sole traders so we will have to wait to see what form that assistance is likely to take.

The details of the latest round of business support is as follows:

  1. Cash grants of between $10,000 and $20,000 depending on the business’ annual payroll.  If you are an eligible business you will receive one of the following amounts:

    • $10,000 if your annual payroll is less than $650,000

    • $15,000 if your annual payroll is between $650,000 and $3.0m

    • $20,000 if your annual payroll is between $3.0m and $10.0m

To be eligible for the above cash grants you must:

    • Operate a business located in Victoria;

    • Participate in the JobKeeper Payment scheme;

    • Employ people and be registered with WorkSafe;

    • Have had an annual payroll of less than $10.0m in the 2020 financial year;

    • Be registered for GST;

    • Hold an ABN; and

    • Be registered with the responsible Federal or State regulator (waiting on clarification as to what this actually means)

  1. Cash grants of up to $30,000 for licensed pubs, clubs, hotels, bars, restaurants and reception centres.  The level of the cash grant is subject to venue capacity and location.

  1. The latest round of assistance also includes additional funding, tools and resources to assist businesses prepare for re-opening.  Under the business adaption the Victorian Government is allowing:

    • A $20.0m voucher program to assist sole traders and small businesses build their digital presence/capability

    • A $15.7m package to help Victorian exporters get their products to market and establish new trade channels

    • A $8.5m expansion to the “Click for Vic” campaign to encourage more Victorians to support local business

  1. The Victorian Government is also offering some waivers and deferrals.  These include:

    • A deferral of payroll tax liability for the full 2020/21 financial year

[This should come with a warning that it is a deferral of payroll tax payable and not a waiver.  If your business is paying payroll tax and you are able to continue to fund the liability then we suggest that you do so as accepting a deferral can create it own cash flow problems down the track.  An increase in the payroll tax threshold from $650,000 to $1.5m would have been more beneficial for businesses as it would provide relief from a tax that is imposed on businesses employing people.  In an environment where unemployment is forecast to be greater than 10% you would think that they would put together a business support fund that encouraged businesses to employ people or at a minimum retain their current employees].

    • Bring forward the 50% Stamp Duty discount for commercial/industrial property for all of Regional Victoria.

    • Deferral of the planned increase in landfill levy for 6 months

    • 25% waiver for the Congestion Levy for this year (presumably they refer to financial year but not clear in the current release)

    • Liquor license fee to be waived for 2021

    • Waiving of the Vacant Residential Land Tax for vacancies in 2020

We will advise you of when the application process opens for the third round of cash grants.

In the meantime please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries.

 

Victorian Business Support Fund


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