Businesses affected by the recent five-day snap lockdown will be eligible for support under a $143 million package announced on Sunday.
Jobs Minister Martin Pakula said the state government would distribute payments of $2000 to 50,000 businesses to compensate for their inability to trade over the lockdown, which coincided with Valentine's Day, Lunar New Year and Australian Open tennis matches.
He said the payments would target businesses directly affected such as restaurants, florists, live entertainers and accommodation providers.
He said the payments would be available for firms with an annual payroll of up to $3 million.
Additional payments of $3000 will also be made available to licensed hospitality venues which have previously received support via the state's assistance fund, while $16 million would be handed to accommodation providers.
An additional 50,000 vouchers of $200 would be made available for accommodation venues in both regional Victoria and Greater Melbourne.
"Victorian businesses played their part in the circuit breaker action and this package recognises that the impact for many was severe," Mr Pakula said.
The minister's announcement came on the same day as Victoria recorded recorded no new coronavirus cases for the second day in a row.
Health authorities received 10,339 test results in the 24 hours to midnight.
Out of those tests, zero cases were detected in the community or in returned travellers in hotel quarantine.
Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Paul Guerra said the funding announcement was "welcome news for the many businesses impacted by the recent lockdown, particularly those that had to cover the costs of lost perishables, booking cancellations and wages".
"Business looks forward, it doesn't look back and the best support they can have right now is the ability to trade with certainty and confidence. Quarantine and contact tracing needs to evolve as COVID-19 evolves," he said.
"The travel voucher program extension to cover all of Victoria will be music to the ears of CBD hotels and attractions, which are struggling without international and domestic visitors.
"Hopefully all Victorians continue to get out and support as many businesses as possible."
The package includes:
- $92 million for $2,000 grants for hospitality venues (including food wholesale), event operators, and specific retail (hairdressers and florists) with a payroll of less than $3m.
- $24.9 million to provide an additional $3,000 per premise to venues who have received a grant under the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund (recipients of this will not be eligible for the $92m assistance above).
- $16.2 million for grants for accommodation providers who had cancellations with those who had 10 bookings or less receiving $2,250 and those with 11 bookings or more $4,500.
- $10 million for 40,000 travel vouchers to encourage Victorians to visit greater Melbourne, and an extension of the successful regional travel voucher scheme with an additional 10,000 vouchers
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