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New cash injection of $8.4m for Melbourne businesses still facing restrictions

The Victorian government has committed an extra $8.4 million funding boost for affected businesses in greater Melbourne still impacted by COVID health restrictions.

New cash injection of $8.4m for Melbourne businesses still facing restrictions
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  • Karen Tan
  • June 10, 2021
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It takes the total support for businesses announced in the past 11 days beyond $500 million.

Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas said after two weeks of Victorians doing the right thing, the government can gradually ease restrictions and safely reopen more businesses, with restrictions to ease from Friday.

But some businesses will need to endure more restrictions than others, for a longer period.

“This top-up payment will support businesses who will still be affected in the coming week, so they can be in the best position to recover once their doors reopen,” said Mr Pallas.

The phased in easing of restrictions differ between greater Melbourne and regional Victoria, but overall from Friday, students can return to classroom, the Melbourne-regional divide will remain for another week at least, and the QR check-in will become compulsory at all workplaces, with limited exceptions.

The following limits will apply in Melbourne:

  • Funerals limited to 50 people, weddings 10
  • Religious ceremonies capped at 50 inside
  • Offices can return with 25 per cent or a cap of 10, whichever is greater
  • Restaurants and cafes can reopen with a max of 50 inside
  • Retail can reopen with density limit of one person per foure square metres
  • Beauty services can resume for services where a mask can be worn
  • Community sport can resume training
  • Auctions can happen outdoors with max 50 people

In regional Victoria from Thursday night (11:59pm):

  • Visits to the home are allowed for two adults per day, plus their dependents
  • Public gatherings increased to 20 people
  • Restaurants and cafes can open for up to 150 per venue for seated service, with up to 75 allowed indoors
  • Religious services capped at 150 for venue, with no more than 75 people allowed indoors
  • Funerals limited to 75 people, weddings 20
  • Offices remain capped at 50 per cent
  • Community sport back for all ages for both training and competition
  • Travel within regional Victoria remains permitted

Acting Premier James Merlino hopes to further ease restrictions again next Thursday night (17 June), including lifting the 25-kilometre travel limit.

The government previously announced $492.2 million to assist small and medium-sized businesses and sole traders, including the Business Costs Assistance Program, Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund and Regional Tourism Support Package.

The initial funding helped support businesses including restaurants and cafes, event suppliers, tourism and accommodation providers and non-essential retailers.

Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Martin Pakula said, “Businesses are doing the right thing across Victoria, championing COVIDSafe practices and using QR codes in the interests of their workers and the wider community. We commend them for their efforts.”

The Business Costs Assistance Program provides eligible businesses affected by the two weeks of restrictions with access to payments of $5,000.

A further $2,000 top-up payment will be available to businesses in metropolitan Melbourne forced to shut due to extended restrictions announced today (9 June), including gyms, dance schools and yoga studios, taking the total amount available to businesses in eligible sectors to $7,000.

The government said up to 90,000 businesses will benefit from the support packages announced over the past two weeks.

Around 70,000 businesses impacted by restrictions beyond Thursday, 3 June 2021 were eligible for an extension payment from $2,500 to $5,000, and around 3,700 businesses will be eligible for the new $2,000 top-up payment.

Minister for Small Business Jaala Pulford said, "We thank each and every business owner in Victoria who has helped to slow the spread of COVID-19 – we know it’s been tough and thank them for their effort and sacrifice.”

Tourism businesses in regional and metropolitan Melbourne that receive the Tourism Supplement payment announced on Sunday will not receive this top-up payment. Their payments have already reached $7,000.

Applications for the Business Costs Assistance Program are open and businesses only need to submit one application to receive their maximum payment.

Initial payments started this week.

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