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COVID-19 Business Continuity – 6th April

Hi, it’s Ashley Thomson with the COVID-19 Business Continuity update for Monday 6th April. In today’s update I’m talking about options for financial support outside the headline contributions from the federal government.
In today’s update:

1. Victorian Business Support Fund for businesses affected by COVID-19
2. Council Grants: City of Melbourne & others
3. Facebook Grants
4. Energy Relief Package

1. Victorian Business Support Fund
The Victorian government is offering grants for small businesses that were closed or highly impacted by the directive to shut down non-essential activities (gyms, cafes/restaurants, playcentres, etc).
The grants are for businesses that:
  • Employ staff
  • Turnover more than $75,000
  • Have payroll of less than $650,000 (so they are not eligible for the payroll tax refund.)

The grant is a one-off supplement of $10,000 for eligible businesses. Click here to find out more about the Victorian Business Support Fund  We believe this will only be applicable for several of our clients and are discussing their potential eligibility with them.


2. Council Grants: City of Melbourne & others
City of Melbourne also have grants available for small businesses (fewer than 50 full time equivalent employees) that are located in CoM municipalities.

The grants for COVID-19 affected businesses include:

  • Up to $5000 for investing in online and e-commerce activities.
  • Up to $2000 for training and professional development.
  • Up to $10,000 for capital works projects (matching dollar-for-dollar) to adapt to changing conditions.

More detailed information on the grants is available here: City Of Melbourne COVID19 Business Grants We also believe this will only be applicable for several of our clients.

Other councils

We’re also looking at what other financial support is available from local councils. At this stage, only some councils are offering support and it’s relatively limited. For example, City of Port Phillip, City of Kingston and City of Monash are offering to defer rates for business ratepayers who are experiencing hardship due to COVID19.

We have researched other councils and at this stage, there are no support offers for business from these councils: Whitehorse, Maroondah, Boroondara, Knox, Casey, Frankston or Bayside. It may change – we’ll let you know if/when it does, we’re staying across any grants that might apply to our clients.

3. Facebook Grants
Facebook has announced that they will be offering grants to small businesses. The grants will be in cash and in ad credits for Facebook business clients. At this time, that’s all the information they have provided. We’ll keep a watch on it and let you know when eligibility criteria and application details are announced.


4. Electricity and Gas Network Relief Package

Network charges will be rebated for eligible small businesses that have been significantly impacted by COVID19. This offering from the gas and electricity networks will mostly be geared to businesses that are going into hibernation or have already shut their doors.
The charges are the cost business customers pay to have electricity supplied into their buildings. To be eligible for the rebate, your business will consume less than 400MHw or 400GJ per annum and use less than 25% of the historical average during the period from 1 April to 30 June, 2020.
The rebates will be processed in September 2020. For more information, see the COVID19 Energy Relief Package fact sheet
We’re actively researching other sources of grants, supplements and financial assistance and we’ll keep you up to date as we find more.

Rental arrangements are being discussed in the national cabinet meeting tomorrow so we’re expecting to hear more detail about those plans then.

Stay safe, stay positive.


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