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Automatic $20,000 payments coming for locked-down Victoria

·3-min read
Australian $100 bills, main street of Melbourne in lockdown.
The Victorian government has announced new business support payments. (Images: Getty).

More than 10,000 Melbourne businesses will automatically receive payments of between $2,800 and $20,000, as the state endures its sixth lockdown since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Victorian Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Martin Pakula announced the business support package on Thursday morning, as the state recorded 21 new cases of community-transmitted COVID-19.

Businesses that have previously received support under the Business Costs Assistance Program will automatically receive a one-off $2,800 boost, he said, including gyms, cafes, tourism and event businesses and catering services.

“Those payments will be made automatically and we would expect that to occur within the next week,” he said.

Up to $20,000 payments for 7,000 hospitality businesses

Businesses may also be eligible for support through the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021, which includes payments of $5,000, $10,000 and $20,000 to businesses that have previously been approved for earlier rounds of the grants.

These automatic payments are expected to flow to 7,000 licensed hospitality businesses in metropolitan Melbourne, according to the state government.

Businesses with capacity to seat 99 patrons will receive $5,000, while those that can seat up to 499 patrons will receive $10,000 and those with a capacity of more than 500 will receive $20,000.

One-off $10,000 grants for businesses that missed out

Victorian businesses will also be eligible for more funding under an increased Small Business COVID Hardship Fund.

This $41 million fund will deliver one-off payments for businesses that do not qualify for other programs.

Under this fund, businesses can claim $10,000 grants, provided they have experienced a revenue reduction of at least 70 per cent.

Businesses can apply for these grants from today through the Business Victoria website, with the state government expecting 18,000 businesses to be eligible.

"In recognition of the fact that the regions are open at this stage, this is apackage of $367 million to support more than 100,000 predominantly metropolitan Melbourne businesses affected that by a second week of lockdown," Pakula said.

"We have put $1.4 billion-plus into bank accounts since the May-June lockdown commenced, so that is the benefit of the automatic payment process that we are undertaking for the vast majority of businesses that are receiving our support."

$750 weekly payments for individuals, sole traders

Eligible workers across Victoria will also be eligible for COVID-19 Disaster Payments of up to $750 a week.

Workers who have lost at least 20 hours can claim the $750 payments, while those who have lost between eight and 20 hours can claim $450 payments.

Workers who also receive Centrelink payments are eligible for weekly payments of $200 on top of their current Centrelink payments.

Sole traders are also eligible for these disaster payments.

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