What is the Small Business COVID Hardship Fund?
The Small Business COVID Hardship Fund is a program established to support small businesses who have not been eligible under existing business support funds.
The Victorian Government is always looking for more ways to support more businesses in need. That’s why the Victorian Government’s Small Business COVID Hardship Fund 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.
Businesses are not eligible to receive a Small Business COVID Hardship Fund grant if they have received support under any of the Victorian Government COVID-19 support packages launched on or after 27 May 2021, including:
- Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two
- Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two Extension
- Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021
- Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 – July Extension
- Alpine Resorts Support Program
- Victorian Events Support Package, comprising of:
- Sustainable Events Business Program
- Impacted Public Events Support Program
- Independent Cinema Support Program
- Live Performance Support Program (Presenters)
- Live Performance Support Program (Suppliers)
This list may be updated at any time to reflect changes to COVID-19 business support packages.
Applications close 10 September 2021.