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Government announced Circuit Breaker Business Support Package

The Victorian Government will be launching a $460 million Business Support Package which will assist eligible small/medium businesses and sole traders who have been affected by the COVID-19 circuit breaker lockdown that was implemented on 27 May 2021.

This package includes up to $209.3 million for the Business Costs Assistance Program: Round Two grants for eligible businesses, located in metropolitan Melbourne, operating in an industry that has been forced to cease operation under the circuit breaker restrictions and which cannot work remotely.

This package will be critical to many Victorian businesses as regular JobKeeper payments ceased over two months ago on 28 March 2021.

Applications opened on Thursday 3 June 2021 and will remain open for three weeks. Metropolitan businesses which have had their restrictions eased from Friday 4 June 2021 will NOT be eligible for the extended payment

Grant amount

Eligible businesses will receive a one-off payment of $2,500 or $5,000. The grant amount is determined by:

  1. the business’ industry sector

  2. the business' location


i. businesses that were subject to restrictions between 28 May 2021 up to and including 3 June 2021 will be eligible for the $2,500 grant,

ii. businesses that were subject to restrictions between 28 May 2021 up to and including 3 June 2021 and further restrictions from 4 June 2021 will be eligible for the $5,000 grant.

Information required for applications

When applying for the Business Costs Assistance Program grant, you will need to provide the following information:

  • a valid Australian business number (ABN) which is link to an eligible ANZSIC class

  • valid proof of identity (e.g. Australian driver licence, Australian Passport, Medicare Card, Australian visa information or foreign passport

  • if your business employs people, your WorkCover Employer Number (WEN) is required. If this is yet to be issued, a WorkSafe Application Reference Number (WRN) is required

To be eligible, businesses must:

  • be located within Victoria

  • operate in an eligible sector listed in the list of eligible ANZSIC classes for this program. The list of eligible business classes can be found here.

  • have incurred direct costs because of the restrictions and cannot fully operate remotely

  • have an annual Victorian payroll of up to $10 million in 2019-20 on an ungrouped basis

  • have been registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) on Thursday 27 May 2021

  • hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN at Thursday 27 May 2021

  • be registered with the responsible Federal or State regulator.

Employing businesses must also:

  • be registered with WorkSafe Victoria,

  • attest that the business is supporting its workers to access any paid leave entitlements, or that if a person can work from home, to work from home during the circuit breaker action, and supporting their casual workers, where possible.

Information for other or previous grant recipients

Businesses that receive a grant under the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 are not eligible for a grant under this program. Businesses that meet the criteria above and have received assistance previously through the Business Support Fund, payroll tax rebate/waiver, or other COVID-19 business support programs are eligible to apply for a grant under this program.

Is the Business Costs Assistance Program grant taxable?

Any Victorian Government grant that has been issued between 13 September 2020 and June 30 2021 will be treated by the ATO as non-assessable, non-exempt (NANE) Income.

This will include the Business Costs Assistance Program grants, assuming that businesses will receive these payments before the end of the 2021 Financial Year.


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