The Victorian Government launched the Business Support Fund as part of its $1.7 billion Economic Survival Package to help small businesses survive the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) and keep people in work.
The fund provides eligible businesses with one-off grants of $10,000 through two streams:
- Stream One is available to small businesses that meet the standard eligibility criteria and operate in industry sectors that have been subject to closure or highly impacted by the Restricted Activity Directions issued by the Deputy Chief Health Officer to-date.
- Stream Two is available to small businesses in any other sector that meet the standard eligibility criteria and are enrolled as eligible participants in the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper payment scheme.
The eligibility criteria for both streams are outlined below and a copy of the guidelines is available for download. Please read these before completing an application.
Note: all previous applicants who may now be eligible for Stream Two would have received a note from the Department inviting them to provide their JobKeeper details. Please do not submit a new application as this will delay the reassessment of your previous application under the new criteria.
Applications can be made via the 'Apply now' button on this page.
All applications will close at 11.59pm on Monday 1 June 2020.
Business Support Fund fact sheets in languages other than English
At a glance
Potential value of grant
One-off funding of $10,000 per business is available and will be allocated through a grant process.
To be eligible, applicants must:
- Employ people; and
- Have a turnover of more than $75,000; and
- Have payroll of less than $650,000; and
- Hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN at 16 March 2020 (the date the State of Emergency was declared in Victoria over coronavirus); and
- Have been engaged in carrying out the operation of the business in the Australian State of Victoria on 16 March 2020, and
- For Stream One - operate in an industry sector that has been subject to closure or highly impacted by the restrictions announced by the Victorian Government; OR
- For Stream Two - be enrolled as eligible participants in the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper payment scheme.
More details about eligibility are listed below.
What industry sectors are eligible for the Business Support Fund?
Stream One is for eligibile small businesses in the hardest hit sectors, which includes businesses in the following categories:
- Accommodation and Food Services (e.g. cafes, restaurants, caterers, hotels, motels)
- Arts and Entertainment (e.g. cinemas, performing arts venues, creative spaces, performers, museums)
- Health and Beauty Services (e.g. hairdressers, barbers, beauty therapists)
- Sport and recreation (e.g. gyms, swimming pools, indoor climbing, play centres)
- Tourism (e.g. tourist transport, tour operators, tour arrangement, wineries, distilleries and microbreweries)
- Retail, other than supermarket, groceries, liquor and pharmacy businesses (e.g. clothing, footwear and electronic stores)
- Other Services (e.g. real estate agents)
Stream One applicants' sector eligibility will be determined by the industry classification linked to their ABN.
Applicants should ensure that the industry classification linked to their ABN reflects their current business activity and is up-to-date. For guidance on how to update an ABN please refer to the Business Support Fund FAQs page.
What businesses are eligible for Stream Two of the Business Support Fund?
Stream Two is for eligible small businesses regardless of the industry sector in which they operate, provided they are enrolled as eligible participants in the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper payment scheme.
How can the funding be used?
Examples of what the grant funding could be used for include:
- Meeting business costs, including utilities, salaries, rent
- Seeking financial, legal or other advice to support business continuity planning
- Developing the business through marketing and communications activities
- Other supporting activities related to the operation of the business.
Evidence of eligibility and compliance
- Applicants must certify in writing that they meet the eligibility criteria.
- Applicants will be subject to audit by the Victorian Government or its representatives and will be required to produce evidence, used in supporting the Application and evidence as to the allocation and use of the grant, at the request of the Victorian Government for a period of four years after the grant has been approved.
- If any information in the application is found to be false or misleading, or grants are not applied for the purposes stated in the terms of funding and application, the grant will be repayable on demand.
How to apply
Previous applicants who may now be eligible for Stream Two would have received a note from the Department inviting them to provide their JobKeeper details. Please follow the instructions outlined in that note and do not submit a new application.
New applicants must submit an online application via the 'Apply now' button on this page by 11.59pm on 1 June 2020.
All applicants are required to provide a copy of their most recent Business Activity Statement (BAS).
Stream Two applicants are also required to provide their JobKeeper receipt number from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
For guidance on what is considered acceptable as BAS please refer to the BAS statement examples (PDF 1955.29 KB).
Note: Lodged BAS (as evidence that your business is registered for GST with the ATO) are available on the ATO’s Business Portal or through your tax agent.
All questions in the application must be completed and any requested documentation attached to ensure timely assessment and grant payment.
Please refer to the FAQs page for answers to questions you may have about your application.
If you require further assistance please call 13 22 15 or email us.