Skip to content


Hospitality Business Grant Program FAQs

Questions and answers related to the Hospitality Business Grant Program.

Hospitality Business Grant Program FAQs

Below are FAQs relating to the Victorian Government's Hospitality Business Grant Program.

Why did the Victorian Government launch the Hospitality Business Grant Program?

The program was launched to support the hardest hit businesses in hospitality that may have been financially impacted by the return of Stage 3 and Stage 4 Stay at Home restrictions and provides additional support to businesses located in the CBD postcodes (3000, 3005, 3006 and 3008).

The government recognises that a number of hospitality businesses were preparing to re-open or expand operations by re-engaging staff and placing orders of stock of perishable goods during the easing of restrictions, only to have to stand down staff again and lose perishable stock when restrictions were reintroduced.

In addition, businesses in Melbourne’s CBD faced an even larger and sustained shock to their trading environments.

When are applications open?

Applications are now open and will be accepted until further notice or when all the allocated funding has been committed.

What businesses are eligible to apply for the program?

A business is eligible to apply for grant support if it meets all of the following:

  • Operate a business with premises located in Victoria; and
  • Operate a restaurant, cafe, pub, bar, club, reception centre, coffee and dessert outlet or takeaway food venue that serves patrons and hold a Class 2 or 3 Service Sector – Certificate of Registration under the Food Act 1984 (Vic); and
  • Employ staff and have an annual payroll of $3 million and up to $10 million in 2019-20; and
  • Be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) on 30 June 2020; and
  • Hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN at 30 June 2020; and
  • Be registered with the responsible Federal or State regulator.

A CBD business is also eligible for an additional $20,000 grant from the special program for CBD businesses if its premises are located in postcodes 3000 (Melbourne), 3005 (World Trade Centre), 3006 (Southbank) or 3008 (Docklands).

I have more than one business located in Victoria, can I receive more than one grant of $25,000?

If you have more than one business registered with different ABNs as at 30 June 2020 and they can individually meet the relevant criteria, you may be eligible for a grant for each business. You would need to submit a separate application for each business.

My business is located in Melbourne CBD am I eligible to receive an additional $20,000 grant under this program?

The total funding an eligible CBD business can receive under this program is capped at up to $65,000, made up of a $25,000 grant, an extra $5,000 grant for each additional premises located within Victoria, capped at a total of $20,000 and a $20,000 grant if your business is located in Melbourne CBD (postcodes 3000, 3005, 3006 and 3008).

Can restaurants with no fixed premises, such as a tram or boat restaurant, apply for a grant?

If your restaurant does not have fixed physical premises, such as a tram or boat restaurant, you can apply for a grant from the CBD Small Hospitality Grant or Hospitality Business Grant program. The  premises’ address must be  a mooring site or dock and  located within the eligible area. Location details will be verified through the food business’ Certificate of Registration.

If you are applying for the CBD Hospitality Grant, the business' mooring site or dock must be in one of the following postcodes: 3000 (Melbourne), 3005 (World Trade Centre), 3006 (Southbank) and 3008 (Docklands).

Additionally, applicants must have the appropriate food certificate for the premises (a Class 2 or 3 Service Sector – Certificate of Registration under the Food Act 1984).

Can restaurants which are owned by hotels apply for a grant?

Restaurants which are owned by hotels are eligible for the CBD Small Hospitality Grant or Hospitality Business Grant program as long as they meet the eligibility criteria and hold the appropriate food certificate (a Class 2 or 3 Service Sector – Certificate of Registration under the Food Act 1984).

Can restaurants within food courts apply for a grant?

Businesses with premises in a food court that have exclusive seating are eligible to apply for the CBD Small Hospitality Grant if the exclusive seating totals 11 or more seats.

Businesses with premises in a food court that are kiosks and have shared food court seating are not eligible for the CBD Hospitality Business Grant program as these businesses do not meet the minimum seating eligibility criteria.

We encourage business owners whose premises are in a food court and have shared seating to apply for a grant from the Business Support Fund - Expansion, which is open until 14 September 2020.

Why are businesses who do not employ people not eligible for a grant under this program?

The program was created to support employing businesses that have been highly impacted by the return to Stay at Home restrictions.

Given the availability of JobKeeper and JobSeeker payment schemes for non-employing sole traders, the program was designed to support as many employing businesses as possible.

Non-employing businesses may be able to access support through other programs, such as the Business Advisory and Wellbeing Program.

Why are businesses required to have a payroll of $3 and up to $10 million to be eligible to receive a grant under this program?

The program has been designed to support larger hospitality businesses that have been hardest hit by the Stay at Home Restrictions and have largely been ineligible for Business Support Fund grants and the Payroll Tax Rebate due to having a payroll of $3 to $10 million in 2019-20.

Businesses that have a payroll in 2019-20 that is below $3 million may be eligible to receive a grant under the Business Support Fund - Expansion program of up to $10,000.

My business is part of a payroll group - can I apply?

Eligible businesses must have a payroll as defined by the State Revenue Office of $3 million and up to $10 million in 2019-20.

If your business has a payroll of less than $3 million or $10 million or more in 2019-20, your business is not eligible for a grant.

Am I eligible to receive a grant under this program if I have received a grant under other Victorian Government programs?

Businesses are not eligible for funding through this program where they have received funding under the:

What do I do if I accidentally submit two applications? How can I retract one?

Each business, as identified by its ABN, is eligible to receive only one grant of up to $45,000.

Each CBD business, as identified by its ABN, is eligible to receive only one grant of up to $65,000.

If you have accidentally submitted two separate applications for one business (i.e. one ABN), you do not need to do anything to retract one of them – we will only pay one grant for that ABN.

How do you define an employee?

For the purpose of this program, an employee is a staff member under the control of the business who have income tax and superannuation paid by the employer.

Why do I need to provide my Certificate of Registration under the Food Act 1984 (Vic)?

A Certificate of Registration under the Food Act 1984 (Vic) will indicate that your business is authorised to serve food and physical address within Victoria.

What types of businesses fall under a Class 2 or 3 Food Service Sector Classification under the Food Act 1984 (Vic)?

The types of businesses that fall under classes under the Food Act 1984 are set by the Department of Health and Human Services. Certificates of Registration are issued by local councils consistent with these classes.

The types of businesses that are predetermined to fall under a Class 2 or Class 3 Food Service Sector Classification can be viewed at https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/public-health/food-safety/food-businesses/food-business-classification/food-business-classification-predetermined

These businesses can include cafes, restaurants, takeaway food outlets and bars.

If you are unsure about your businesses’ classification under the Food Act 1984 please refer to your Certificate of Registration or contact your local council.

What evidence is needed to prove that a business had an annual payroll of $3 million and up to $10 million in 2019-20?

The State Revenue Office (SRO) will verify if a business had a payroll of $3 million and up to $10 million for 2019-20.

Applicants are not required to attach documentation; however, you will be required to attest to the value of their annual payroll.

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 that you had a payroll of $3 million to $10 million.

What are the relevant Commonwealth and State regulators that a business needs to be registered with?

For the purpose of this program, a business is defined as an entity where a business name is registered with the Australian Securities Investment Commission (ASIC).

In the case of a social enterprise, it may be registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).

In the case of an incorporated association, it must be registered with Consumers Affairs Victoria (CAV).

Businesses must ensure their registration is current prior to application. If your businesses is not registered at the time of application it will not be eligible to receive a grant.

I received an email stating ‘Application failed Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) check’, what does that mean?

As part of the grants assessment process, we check with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). This check has found that your business name is not registered, does not match the name you provided on your application or that there has been an adverse finding against your business.

Businesses must ensure their registration is current prior to application. If your business is not registered at the time of application, it will not be eligible to receive a grant.

An adverse finding is taken into consideration when processing grant applications.

If I am a successful applicant, are there restrictions on what I can spend the funds on?

Funds may be spent on business activities and costs, including:

  • Employee salaries
  • Utilities and 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.

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

The Department will endeavour to process all applications within ten business days.

Delays may be experienced if:

  • the application does not meet all the criteria outlined in the guidelines
  • applicants have not submitted the requested supporting documentation
  • the submitted documentation, such as a Certificate of Registration under the Food Act 1984 or banking information, is incorrect
  • the State Revenue Office is unable to verify if the business had $3 million and less than $10 million in payroll tax for the year 2019-20
  • the application has been returned for amendments
  • more than one application has been submitted for the same business
  • incorrect details have been entered on the application form, for example, incorrect ABN, and banking details (for successful applicants).

Why is it important that applicants attach accurate supporting documentation to their application?

A Certificate of Registration issued under the Food Act 1984 will indicate your business is authorised to serve food and physical address within Victoria, including the CBD.
Applicants may be required to provide further information at the Department’s discretion, such as utility bills for the premises. Utility bills will also indicate the physical address of the premises within an eligible Local Government Area, including the CBD.
If an applicant’s supporting documentation and geographical eligibility cannot be verified, the application will be returned, and the applicant will be asked to update their documentation.

What happens if I have submitted an application and not received any email notifications?

Your spam filter may have may have prevented you from seeing email notifications from us, please check you junk inbox.

Applicants may be emailed for the following reasons:

  • if you have not submitted the correct supporting documentation
  • if your application is considered eligible and you have been awarded a grant
  • if your application is ineligible as it does not meet the eligibility criteria of the program.

Will my business be audited by the Victorian Government after the grant has been paid?

Applicants may be subject to audit by the Victorian Government or its representatives and will be required to produce evidence (such as payroll reports to demonstrate impact) at the request of the Victorian Government for a period of four years after the grant has been approved.

Where can I go for more information on Victorian Government support for businesses?

Other COVID-19 business support programs, advice and information can be found on the coronavirus (COVID-19) business support page or through the Business Victoria Hotline at 13 22 15.

Close quick view window