The Victorian Government’s Small Business COVID Hardship Fund is now open for applications and will assist eligible small and medium businesses:
- whose operations have been severely impacted by COVID-19 restrictions that have been in place between 27 May 2021 and August 2021
- that have experienced at least a 70% reduction in turnover as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions
- that are ineligible for other key COVID-19 Victorian Government business grant programs that have been announced since 27 May 2021.
The program offers grants of $10,000 to eligible small and medium businesses, including employing and non-employing businesses. This program will allow more businesses who have previously not received support, to receive financial relief now.
To be eligible, businesses must:
- be located within Victoria
- as a direct consequence of COVID-19 restrictions since 27 May 2021 have experienced a reduction in turnover of at least 70% for a minimum consecutive two-week period comparable to a benchmark period in 2019
- 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 and from 28 July 2021
- hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN on and from 28 July 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 COVID-19 restrictions, and supporting their casual workers, where possible.
- Businesses should ensure that all relevant registrations are up to date before applying for a grant under this program.
Information for other or previous grant recipients
Businesses that have received funding under any of the Victorian Government COVID-19 support packages launched on or after 27 May 2021 are not eligible for a grant under this program.
Businesses that have received assistance through the Business Support Fund, payroll tax rebate/waiver, or another COVID-19 program launched prior to 27 May 2021 may apply for assistance under this program.
Other information you need for your application
When applying for this grant you will need:
- to demonstrate a reduction in turnover of at least 70% for a minimum consecutive two-week period since 27 May 2021 as a direct consequence of COVID-19 restrictions, comparable to a benchmark period in 2019
- businesses should compare their best consecutive two-week trading period between 27 May and 10 September 2019, with their worst consecutive two-week trading period between 27 May and 10 September 2021
- for businesses that were not actively trading in 2019, the relevant benchmark period is between 1 February 2021 to 28 July 2021
- endorsement of the reduction in turnover by a qualified agent (qualified accountant, registered tax agent or registered BAS agent)
- you may be required to provide evidence including a sales report, financial statement and/or a Business Activity Statement (BAS) to demonstrate the reduction in turnover
- a valid proof of identity document (Australian driver licence, Australian Passport, Medicare Card or Australian visa information and foreign passport).
How to apply
Applications are open from Thursday 12 August 2021 until program funds are exhausted or 11:59 pm on Friday 10 September 2021, whichever is earlier.
Check that your details on the Australian Business Register website are correct prior to submitting an application. Incorrect information may delay the assessment of your application.
You can choose to apply for this program in one of three ways:
- A qualified agent (qualified accountant, registered tax agent or registered BAS agent) can apply on your behalf and verify the 70% drop in business turnover as part of the application. The qualified agent needs to attest that they are authorised to apply on your behalf.
- You can apply directly as a business owner and have the application verified by a qualified agent (qualified accountant, registered tax agent or registered BAS agent) using the Small Business Small-Business-COVID-Hardship-Fund_Letter-from-the-Qualified-Agent-template.
- Business owners who do not have access to a qualified accountant, registered tax agent or registered BAS agent can register their interest for the program. Applicants may receive an Invitation to Apply email from the department. Applications received via the Invitation to Apply process may take up to 25 business days to process, due to the need for additional verification measures.
The Victorian Government or our representatives may audit your application, so you will need to produce evidence at the request of the Victorian Government.
If any information in your application is false or misleading, you may be asked to repay the grant.
Please read all the information on this page, the program guidelines and the frequently asked questions before applying.
Applicants with multiple businesses
You can only apply for one grant per ABN. If you have separate ABNs for your businesses, you must submit separate applications for each ABN. Each business or ABN must satisfy all the eligibility criteria.
More information about the Covid Hardship Fund is available at business.vic.gov.au
Should you have any questions or need any help to ensure you receive all available assistance, please reach out to our team at Rose Partners and we will do our best to assist.
The Team at Rose Partners