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Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package Business Grants

Grants to support businesses adapt to outdoor dining and entertainment, helping move the indoor dining and cafe experiences Victorians love, outdoors.

Program overview

The $58 million Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package business grants help businesses adapt their operations to outdoor dining. Grants are available to licensed and unlicensed hospitality businesses, including restaurants, cafes, pubs/taverns, bars, clubs and takeaway food venues.

Eligible businesses can apply for a grant of $5,000. Funds can be used to pay for practical things like umbrellas, outdoor furniture, screens and other equipment. This will help move the indoor dining and cafe experiences Victorians love, outdoors.

Recipients can also use grants for training, marketing and other costs of adapting new, expanded or enhanced outdoor dining.

If your business is not eligible for a grant under this program, you may be eligible for support under the Victorian Government’s Business Resilience Package. Information about other support for businesses is available on the Business Victoria coronavirus (COVID-19) business information page.

Before applying, please read all the information on this page, including program guidelines and frequently asked questions (FAQs). You should also have the required documentation ready before starting your application. To apply for a grant, use the Apply now button on this page to submit your application with the information required.

Program guidelines

Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package Guidelines.pdf (PDF 2528.51 KB)PDF icon
Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package Guidelines.docx (DOCX 1543.98 KB)DOCX icon

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Click here to see a list of Frequently asked questions

Applications will remain open until funds are exhausted or until 11.59pm on 11 December 2020, whichever is earlier.

What support is available?

Grants of $5,000 are available for eligible hospitality businesses to support them to move to outdoor dining.

Who is eligible for this grant?

To be eligible for a grant under the Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package, applicants must:

  • operate a business with premises located in Victoria, but not the City of Melbourne (businesses within the City of Melbourne should apply to the Melbourne City Recovery Fund and other business support programs)
  • operate from commercial premises (residential and mobile premises are not eligible for this grant)
  • be an employing business registered with WorkSafe Victoria operate a licensed or unlicensed restaurant, cafe, pub/tavern, bar, club or takeaway food venue
  • provide details of relevant permits and licences, such as:
    • a valid Class 2 or 3 Service Sector Certificate of Registration under the Food Act 1984 (Vic) issued by a local council and valid in 2020 if the business serves food to patrons; or
    • a relevant liquor licence if a business serves alcohol without food service (e.g. a cellar door or wine bar); or
    • a Class 2 or 3 Service Sector Certificate of Registration under the Food Act 1984 (Vic) and the relevant Liquor Licence if the business serves both food and alcohol to patrons
  • operate a designated space on premises for customers to receive food or alcohol service as at 13 September 2020
  • have access to outdoor areas that the business proposes to use for new, expanded or enhanced outdoor dining and food service
  • hold or have applied for the relevant permits for expanded or enhanced outdoor dining and food service
  • obtain all relevant permits and licences before starting or expanding its outdoor dining and entertainment operations
  • have an annual payroll of up to $3 million in 2019-20 on an ungrouped basis
  • be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) on 13 September 2020 hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN as at 13 September 2020 be registered with the responsible federal or state regulator
  • commit to spending at least $5,000 (exclusive of GST) to activate outdoor dining at their premises.

What can grant funds be used for?

Grant funds can be used by businesses for expenditure directly related to safe outdoor dining including, but not limited to:

  • equipment to enable outdoor dining, for example:
    • new and/or replacement tables and chairs
    • safety barriers and screens
    • outdoor umbrellas
    • advertising hoardings and A-frames
    • digital technology to support COVID Safe operations.
  • minor electrical upgrades (for example, installation of outdoor power points)
  • installation of outdoor lighting
  • minor works such as improving access to an outdoor seating area or installing in ground sleeves to lock down/secure barriers, umbrellas and advertising hoardings
  • costs associated with obtaining necessary permits and licences for outdoor dining
  • costs associated with obtaining or extending insurances to enable outdoor dining
  • training of owners and staff to adapt to COVID-19 operating environment
  • marketing to promote outdoor dining.

Do I have to spend the whole $5,000 on activating outdoor dining at my premises?

Yes, you must spend at least $5,000 on equipment, training, electrical work or other costs directly linked to activating outdoor dining at your premises.

If I use an awning in my outdoor seating area, is it still considered to be outdoors?

Yes, as long as two or more sides of the space do not have walls (temporary or permanent), the space is considered an outdoor dining area.

What documentation or evidence do businesses need to provide with their application?

Applicants must declare that they meet the eligibility criteria and intend to adapt their business for new, expanded or enhanced outdoor dining and food service.

Applicants must provide:

  • the registration number of their current Certificate of Registration for the premises issued by the local council under the Victorian Food Act 1984
  • the licence type and number of the relevant liquor licence, if the applicant serves alcohol to patrons
  • their WorkCover Employer Number.

Premises with multiple hospitality businesses

If more than one hospitality business trades from a premises, the grant will be awarded to the business holding a food certificate. If neither business holds a food certificate, the grant will be made to the business with more patrons noted on its liquor licence.

Applicants with multiple businesses

Only one grant per premises is allowed. If an applicant has more than one hospitality premises operating under their ABN, they will be eligible for one grant per premises. A separate application for each premises is required.

How to apply

Applicants must apply online using the Apply now button on this page.

All questions in the application must be completed and the requested documentation attached to ensure timely assessment and grant payment.

Applicants must declare that they meet the eligibility criteria and intend to adapt their business for new, expanded or enhanced outdoor dining and food service.

Applicants must agree to complete any post program evaluation survey if requested, for up to one year following issue of the grant.

Applicants may be subject to an audit by the Victorian Government or its representatives, and if requested, will be required to show evidence of how grant funding was spent (such as invoices for equipment purchased) for a period of up to two years after the grant has been approved.

If any information in the application is found to be false or misleading, any grant awarded to the applicant will have to be repaid on demand by the Victorian Government.

Assessing your application

We will endeavour to notify applicants of the outcome of their application within ten business days. However, delays may occur if the application:

  • does not meet all the eligibility criteria
  • does not include the correct evidence or documentation
  • the State Revenue Office  is unable to verify if the business had a payroll of less than $3 million (ungrouped) for the year 2019-2020
  • has been returned for amendments
  • is a duplicate application for the same business premises
  • has incorrect details such as incorrect ABN, WorkCover Employee Number (WEN) and banking details (for successful applicants)
  • does not include current and/or accurate details for relevant regulators or partner agencies (State Revenue Office, ATO or WorkSafe Victoria).

We will also take the following into consideration when assessing applications:

  • an adverse finding by a federal or state regulator regarding the business
  • if the business has been placed under external administration
  • if there is a petition to wind up or deregister the business
  • if the business is deregistered or unregistered (including cancellation or lapse in registration).

Program guidelines

Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package Guidelines.pdf (PDF 2528.51 KB)PDF icon

Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package Guidelines.docx (DOCX 1543.98 KB)DOCX icon

Frequently asked Questions

Click here to see a list of Frequently asked questions

More information

For further assistance please contact us or call the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15.

The Victorian Government’s Business Resilience Package includes other support programs for businesses that have been impacted by restrictions put in place to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), including supports for sole traders and licensed hospitality businesses.

The Business Victoria coronavirus (COVID-19) business information page also provides information on other support and resources for businesses.

Frequently asked questions

Can businesses located in the City of Melbourne local government area apply for this grant?

No. Businesses based in the City of Melbourne have access to a similar funding program through the Melbourne City Recovery Fund, which provides grants to small and medium businesses located within the City of Melbourne local government area to rapidly adapt their operations to be more COVID Safe and comply with health directions.

This is a joint program funded by the Victorian Government and the City of Melbourne, providing $100 million through the Central City Reactivation Fund to reactivate the central city.

What is an employing business?

For the purposes of this program, an employing business means a business registered with WorkSafe Victoria for WorkCover Insurance in accordance with relevant WorkCover legislation.

That is:

  • generally businesses that employ apprentices or pay annual wages of more than $7,500 in a financial year
  • a sole trader, individual partner in a partnership or an individual trustee of a trust that employs other people and meets the above thresholds.

An employing business is not a business that hires workers through labour hire or training organisations (e.g. apprentices) or that contracts other businesses, sole traders or individual partners to conduct their work.

What can grant funds be used for?

Grant funds under the Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package can be used by businesses for expenditures directly related to safe outdoor dining including, but not limited to:

  • equipment to enable outdoor dining, for example:
    • new and/or replacement tables and chairs
    • safety barriers and screens
    • safety bollards
    • outdoor umbrellas
    • advertising hoardings and A-frames
    • gas or electric heaters
    • retractable blinds and awnings
    • sanitising equipment
    • digital technology to support COVID Safe operations
  • minor electrical upgrades (for example, installation of outdoor power points)
  • installation of outdoor lighting
  • minor works such as improving access to an outdoor seating area or installing in ground sleeves to lock down/secure barriers, umbrellas and advertising hoardings
  • costs associated with obtaining necessary permits and licences for outdoor dining
  • costs associated with obtaining or extending insurances to enable outdoor dining
  • training of owners and staff to adapt to COVID-19 operating environment
  • marketing to promote outdoor dining
  • other costs associated with adapting to new or expanded outdoor dining.

Do I have to spend the whole $5,000 on activating outdoor dining at my premises?

Yes, you must spend at least $5,000 on equipment, training, electrical work or other costs directly linked to activating outdoor dining at your premises.

If I use an awning in my outdoor seating area, is it still considered to be outdoors?

Yes, as long as two or more sides of the space do not have walls (temporary or permanent), the space is considered an outdoor dining area.

Why do I need to be registered with WorkSafe to be eligible for the Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package?

You need to be registered with WorkSafe to show that:

  • your business is employing people
  • your business is operating in a location in Victoria.

For the purposes of the program, an employing business is a business required to be registered with WorkSafe Victoria for WorkCover Insurance in accordance with relevant WorkCover legislation.

If your business is exempt from the requirement for WorkCover Insurance, for example you expect to pay less than $7,500 in remuneration in 2020-21, then you are not eligible for the grant.

The address details provided to WorkSafe and registered as ‘workplace addresses’ under your insurance policy are also used to verify your business is operating in Victoria. Please ensure your workplace address details held by WorkSafe are current and accurate.

If you have any questions about WorkSafe registration, WorkSafe Victoria’s website has detailed information WorkCover Insurance requirements. You can also contact WorkSafe Victoria about the unique circumstances of your business.

How do I provide evidence that my business is registered with WorkSafe?

All businesses registered for WorkCover insurance have a WorkCover Employer Number (WEN). Please include this number on your application.

All employers should have received their 2020-21 invoice from WorkSafe via email or mail in July 2020. The invoice contains the WEN at the top right-hand corner of the notice.

You do not need to attach your WorkSafe Certificate of Currency. However, your certificate of currency contains your WEN should you be unable to find it in other documents.

If you have only recently applied to be registered with WorkSafe you may not have been issued with a WEN. In this case, please provide the WorkSafe Application Reference Number (WRN) instead of the WEN.

I’ve applied for a WorkCover Employer Number (WEN). Can I apply for the Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package, if I don’t receive my WEN before the program closes on 11 December 2020?

Businesses that have applied for WorkCover Insurance can apply to the Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package program by providing their WorkSafe Application Reference Number (WRN) in place of the WEN in their application. Your Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package application must be submitted before the program closes on 11 December 2020.

A WRN is issued in the format of NR-XXXXXX-XXXXXX when a business submits an online application for WorkCover Insurance. It appears in printable form once the application is submitted, and the applicant will also receive an email containing the number.

Applications for the Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package with a WRN instead of a WEN may take longer to process as the WorkCover registration process needs to be completed before the business can be verified as an employer operating at a location in Victoria.

Once WorkSafe issues a WEN for your business, your eligibility for an Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package grant will be assessed using the program's standard grant assessment process.

WorkSafe Victoria is currently experiencing a large volume of WorkCover Insurance applications and there may be delays in finalising or updating your registration.

Will WorkSafe Victoria issue a Certificate of Exemption for businesses that are not required to register for Workcover insurance?

WorkSafe Victoria does not issue certificates or letters of exemption for businesses that are not required to register with WorkSafe Victoria for WorkCover Insurance. WorkSafe will only register businesses and issue a WorkCover Employer Number (WEN) to businesses that are required by law to be registered for WorkCover Insurance.

Businesses that are not considered employers under WorkSafe legislation will not be registered and issued with the associated WEN and are not eligible for the Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package.

Do I need to change my business address to the address where my Australian Business Number (ABN) is registered?

No. The address listed against an ABN is not the primary method for verifying a business address in your application. The primary method of confirming a business address is a Worksafe Employer Number (WEN). This is used to verify that the address you provided in the application is a location in Victoria and matches the address of a workplace registered with WorkSafe under your business’ WorkCover policy. This process can be completed quicker if the information provided to WorkSafe is correct.

My business employs people, but I am covered by other insurance and not required to register for WorkCover insurance. Am I eligible for Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package?

No. You must be registered with WorkSafe or have lodged an application for WorkCover Insurance with WorkSafe when applying for a grant to be eligible for the Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package.

What evidence do I need to prove my business had an annual payroll of up to $3 million in 2019-20 on an ungrouped basis?

The State Revenue Office (SRO) will verify if your business had a payroll of up to $3 million (ungrouped) for 2019-20. You are not required to attach documentation.

For some businesses, you may need to complete your annual payroll tax reconciliation, which was due by 21 July 2020 to enable the SRO to assess if you had a payroll of less than 3 million (ungrouped).

I recently registered my business for GST. Can I apply for the Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package?

To be eligible for the Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package, a business must have been registered for GST as at 13 September 2020.

Why does my business need to be registered for GST to be eligible for a grant?

For the purposes of this program, GST registration and its associated obligations indicate the business was operating prior to 13 September 2020. It also shows the business has a large enough turnover to be an employer, which is one of the eligibility criteria.

Can previous recipients of the Victorian Government’s coronavirus (COVID-19) support packages apply for this grant?

Yes. Recipients of other coronavirus (COVID-19) support grants, such as grants from the Business Support Fund rounds, can apply for a grant from this program.

What are the responsible federal or state regulators that a business needs to be registered with?

For the purpose of this program, businesses must be registered with the responsible federal or state regulator as required by law, for example:

  • charities or not-for-profit organisations must be registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC)
  • incorporated associations must be registered with Consumers Affairs Victoria (CAV)
  • a business is an entity with a business name registered with the Australian Securities Investment Commission (ASIC).

However, some entity types and structures may not be required to register with ASIC. Some examples where you do not need to register your business name with ASIC include:

  • a sole trader or partnership trading under its legal name – that is, the individual(s) personal legal name(s).
  • a trust operating as a business under the same legal name as the trust (the legal name of the trust when registered).

Further information on registering a business is available on the Australian Government Business website.

You must ensure your business’ registration is current before you apply.

If your business is not correctly registered when you apply, it is not be eligible to receive a grant.

How do I register with the responsible federal or state regulator?

I received an email telling me that my application was unsuccessful. What can I do about it?

If you have received an unsuccessful application email, check to see whether you have correctly provided your WorkCover Employer Number (WEN), business registration details and ABN.

WorkCover Employer Number (WEN)

  • You may have entered incorrect details on your application. If you have forgotten your WEN, or if you don’t have one, visit Getting started with WorkCover Insurance to set up your WorkSafe Insurance and receive a WEN.
  • You can also register for a new WEN and submit a new application with your new WEN.
  • The information held by WorkSafe Victoria may not be accurate or current. You can contact WorkSafe Victoria to check the ABN, business name and workplace address details under your WorkCover policy are correct.

Business registration details

You may have entered incorrect details, or there may be an adverse finding against your business. To find out more:

ABN

Check you have entered your ABN correctly and that it is the same ABN registered with JobKeeper, WorkCover and the State Revenue Office (SRO).

If you require further assistance, call Business Victoria on 13 22 15.

What do I do if I accidentally submit two applications? Should I retract one?

A business, as identified by its ABN, is eligible to receive one grant per premises. If you accidentally submit two separate applications for one premises, you do not need to do anything to retract one of them –only one grant for each premises will be paid.

I have not heard about my application. Is it still being considered?

We endeavour to process all applications within ten business days.

Delays may happen if:

  • your application does not meet all the eligibility criteria
  • you have not submitted the requested supporting documentation
  • your submitted documentation, such as a gas bill, council rates or banking information, is incorrect
  • the State Revenue Office is unable to verify that your business had a payroll of less than $3 million (ungrouped) for the year 2019-2020
  • the application has been returned to you for amendments
  • more than one application has been submitted for the same business; in this instance, there may be a delay in assessment but if all other eligibility criteria are met you will receive funding for the one ABN (i.e. one application)
  • you entered incorrect details on the application form, such as an incorrect ABN, WorkCover Employee Number (WEN) and banking details (for successful applicants)
  • your business’ registration with relevant regulators or agencies, such as the State Revenue Office, Australian Taxation Office or WorkSafe Victoria, are not accurate.

If you require further assistance, please call Business Victoria on 13 22 15.

What happens if I have applied and not received any email notifications?

Your spam filter may have may have prevented you from seeing email notifications from us, so please check your junk mail folder for emails from covid19programs@ecodev.vic.gov.au. If you cannot find an email in your junk mail folder, please contact Business Victoria at business.vic.gov.au/contact-us or call 13 22 15.

How do I know what the status of my application is?

The status of your application will appear in the Business Victoria Grants Portal:

  • Draft – you have started an application.
  • Submitted – you have accepted the terms and conditions and submitted.
  • Under assessment – your application has been received and is being assessed by the Business Victoria team.
  • Successful – your application was successful.
  • Unsuccessful – your application was unsuccessful.

From the time you submit your application, you will receive progress notifications.

We cannot contact you while your application remains in ‘draft’ as you haven’t yet given permission for the department to use your contact details.

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