Victorian State Government Provides 3rd Round of Support for Businesses

Key Points:
  • A one-off cash grant will be available to eligible businesses with an annual payroll of up to $10 million
  • Grants of up to $3,000 will be available to eligible sole traders in certain sectors
  • Payroll tax deferral are available for businesses with payrolls up to $10 million for the full 2020/21 financial year

On the 13 Setpemeber, the Victorian government announced additional financial support to Victorian businesses most affected by the COVID-19 restrictions. The main features of this support are as follows:

Business Support Fund – Round Three

A one-off cash grant will be available to eligible businesses with an annual payroll of up to $10 million, as part of the third round of the Victorian Government’s Business Support Fund.

Generally, to be eligible for a third-round grant, applicants must:

  • Operate a business located within Victoria;
  • Be registered as operating in an industry sector that has an industry restriction level of Restricted, Heavily restricted or Closed and is not easing industry restriction levels between the First Step and Second Step of Victoria’s roadmap for reopening (a business’s industry sector is defined by the industry classification (ANZSIC) linked to their ABN); and
  • Participate in the JobKeeper Payment scheme;
  • Employ people and be registered with WorkSafe (or have a pending application);
  • Have had an annual payroll of less than $10 million in 2019-20 on an un-grouped basis;
  • Be registered for GST on 13 September 2020;
  • Hold an ABN at 13 September; and
  • Be registered with the responsible Federal or State regulator (ASIC).

Depending on the annual payroll size, an eligible business will receive a third-round cash grant of $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000 as follows:

Annual PayrollGrant Amount
Less than $650,000$10,000
Between $650,000 and $3 million$15,000
Between $3 million and $10 million$20,000
Cash Grants

Grant funds may be used to assist the business, for example on:

  • Meeting business costs, including utilities, salaries or rent;
  • Seeking financial, legal or other advice to support business continuity planning;
  • Developing the business through marketing and communications activities; or
  • Any other supporting activities related to the operation of the business.

Businesses that have received assistance through the initial Business Support Fund, the Business Support Fund expansion, payroll tax rebate/waiver, or other coronavirus (COVID-19) programs can apply for assistance under Business Support Fund 3.

Applications for the grant opened on Friday 18 September 2020.

For further information about the grant, including specific details of the eligibility criteria and entitlements, go to the Business Victoria website

Other Business Support

Sole traders will have access to grants of up to $3,000 to eligible sole traders in sectors such as retail, accommodation and food services, creative and media, hairdressing, gyms, events, and education and training, who operate from a commercial premises (or location) as a tenant.

Licensed hospitality businesses will have access to grants of up to $30,000 for licensed pubs, clubs, hotels, bars, restaurants and reception centers, based on their venue capacity and location.

Alpine businesses will have access to grants of up to $20,000 to help businesses pay a service charge to Alpine Resort Management Boards.

Tax Waivers and Deferrals

There are various waivers and deferral available:

  • Payroll tax deferral for businesses with payrolls up to $10 million for the full 2020/21 financial year. It is important to note that this is not a full waiver, simply a deferral.
  • Waiver of Vacant Residential Land tax for vacancies in 2020.
  • Waiver of $27m in liquor license fees for 2021.
  • 50% stamp duty discount for commercial and industrial property for all of regional Victoria will be brought forward to 1 January 2021.
  • 25% waiver of the Congestion Levy, with the balance deferred.
  • Deferral of the planned increase in the Landfill Levy for six months.
Business Adaptation

Melbourne City Recovery Fund – Support for the CBD to reopen to ‘COVID normal’ in the lead up to Christmas and during summer. It includes grants for small and medium businesses to pay for equipment, convert spaces (e.g., rooftops, courtyards) into hospitality zones, and remodel internal layouts for a better flow of patrons.

Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package – Funding to support hospitality businesses and councils prepare for COVID normal reopening across Victoria. It includes grants of up to $5,000 for hospitality businesses (e.g., pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes) with an annual payroll of less than $3 million, to help adapt to outdoor dining.

Voucher program to assist sole traders and small businesses in building their digital capability through off-the-shelf digital programs such as Shopify or Square online to help adapt to online operations.

An assistance package may be available for Victorian exporters to get their products to market by addressing logistics and supply chain issues caused by the pandemic.

Semmens & Co. will be reaching out to our Victorian business clients, to assist in assessing their eligibility for the above financial assistance.  Further details of each of the measures noted above can be found at the Business Victoria website, located at

If you have any questions or need advice and clarity specific to your situation, feel free to contact Semmens & Co on 03 8320 0320 for a free consultation.

Thoughts From Our Principals

Mark Semmens

Mark is a Chartered Accountant with a wealth of experience in accounting and taxation. Mark is a Member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, the Tax Practitioners Board and the National Tax and Accountants Association.

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Daniela Semmens

Daniela Semmens is a Co-Director of Semmens & Co. and joined the company as General Manager in 2017. Daniela is an Affiliate Member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and also a Member of the Australian Institute of Project Management.

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