Victorian Business Costs Assistance – Lockdown 4.0 support payments

 Victorian Business Costs Assistance  
Lockdown 4.0 support payments



Through Business Victoria, the Victorian State Government has released the guidelines for its latest round of support for businesses and sole traders that the current Victorian lockdown has impacted.

There are two specific schemes – the Business Costs Assistance Program (round two) and the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund. I am focusing here on the Business Costs Assistance Program in this piece.

It needs to be noted that not all businesses will qualify automatically, as the support has been targeted primarily at businesses and industries that have been shut down as a result of the lockdown and are unable to continue income-earning activities in a work from home basis. The list of industries are listed in the blog, as well as the guidelines for the scheme.

In addition, there are effectively two levels of support, based on the different periods of lockdown between Metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria. Essentially, this equates to a $2,500 per week payment for businesses affected by the lockdown.

The guidelines are shown below (extracted from the Business Victoria guidelines), as are the industry sectors that qualify for the support.

This is not limited to incorporated businesses, so sole trader businesess (with a registered ABN AND GST registration) can also apply.

We can assist you with the submission (as we did for many clients with the various support grants in 2020), and can discuss the eligibility guidelines with you as needed.

Please feel free to contact us on 0409788399 or info@fiscalartisans.com.aufor more information.




GUIDELINES

Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two

COVID-19 assistance to businesses

Program Summary

On 30 May 2021, the Victorian Government announced a $250.7 million Circuit Breaker Business Support Package to support Victorian businesses most affected by the May-June 2021 circuit breaker action. An additional $209.3 million was announced by the Acting Premier on 2 June 2021.

The $371 million second round of the Business Costs Assistance Program (the Program) will provide grants of either $2,500 or $5,000 for eligible businesses directly affected by the circuit-breaker industry restrictions.

 

1. Standard Eligibility Criteria

1.1 To be eligible for the Program, a business must:

a) Be located within Victoria (primary operating address, and Victoria address registered with Worksafe Victoria) ; and

b) Be registered as operating in an eligible industry sector identified in the List of Eligible ANZSIC classes (as defined by the ANZSIC class linked to the business’ ABN ; and

c) Have incurred direct costs as a result of the circuit breaker action and the business cannot predominantly operate remotely; (For example, but not limited to: booking cancellations, utilities, wages, paid leave for staff unable to attend work, rent or the loss of perishable good or any other direct costs affecting the operation of the business related to the May-June 2021 circuit breaker action. These costs may have been incurred prior to, on or after 27 May 2021. The costs must be incurred by the applying business, as defined by its ABN.) and

d) Have an annual Victorian payroll of up to $10 million in 2019-20 on an ungrouped basis ; and

e) Be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) on 27 May 2021; and

f) Hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN at 27 May 2021.

g) Be registered with the responsible Federal or State regulator

For employing businesses only :

h) Be registered with WorkSafe Victoria ; and

i) 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 circuit breaker action, and supporting their casual workers, where possible

2 Other eligibility conditions

2.1 Businesses that have received assistance through the Business Support Fund, payroll tax rebate/waiver, or other COVID-19 programs may apply for assistance under the Program.

2.2 Businesses that receive a grant under the 2021 round of the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund (LHVF21) are not eligible for a grant under the Program.

2.3 Organisations that operate a private gender-exclusive club where membership is only by invitation or nomination by an existing member are not eligible for assistance under the Program.

3 Demonstration of eligibility

3.1 Applicants must attest that they meet the eligibility criteria at the time of application and intend to remain trading at the end of the circuit breaker action. Applicants will also need to meet the eligibility criteria at the time the application is assessed by the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR).

3.2 Industry sector: To be eligible, an Applicant’s primary business activity must be in an eligible industry sector and this must be reflected in the Applicant’s ABN registration information. Applicants should check that their details on the Australian Business Register website are correct prior to submitting an application. This includes ensuring that the industry classification (ANZSIC class code) linked to their ABN registration correctly captures their primary business activity.

3.3 Identity Documents: Applicants must provide details of a current proof of identity document. This must be one of the following:

  • a driver licence or learner permit issued in any Australian jurisdiction; or
  • an Australian Passport; or 

  • a Medicare Card; or
  • a foreign passport for those issued with an Australian Visa.

The identity document details must be for a person listed on the Australian Business Register as either the owner, co-owner, associate or authorised contact of the business

3.4 If the current proof of identity is unable to be confirmed, Applicants will receive a follow-up email with instructions to amend their proof of identity details. If the applicant does not then rectify proof of identity details before the Program close date, the application will not be considered by the Department for this Program.

 

4 Available funding

4.1 From 4 June 2021, changes to the existing industry circuit breaker restrictions (from 28 May 2021) affect businesses differently depending on the businesses location and industry type.

4.2 The total value of a grant under the Program is up to $5,000. For businesses that meet the standard eligibility criteria: 

• businesses that were directly affected by the circuit breaker industry restrictions between 28 May up to and including 3 June 2021 will be eligible for funding of $2,500; 

• businesses that remain directly affected by the circuit breaker industry restrictions on and from 4 June 2021 will be eligible for funding of $5,000.

4.3 The Department will determine the value of the grant based on an assessment of the Applicant’s business location and ANZSIC class.

4.4 A business as defined by its ABN can only receive one grant under the Program.

 

5 Funding use

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

• Meeting business costs, including utilities, wages 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.

6 Assessment Process

6.1 Funding will be allocated through a grant application process, through which businesses are invited to apply for a grant.

6.2 As part of the assessment process, any information provided by Applicants will be shared and subject to verification with other government agencies (state and federal) including the Victorian State Revenue Office, WorkSafe Victoria, the Australian Business Register and the Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs.

6.3 Any of the following circumstances may be taken into consideration in any decision whether to award a grant:

• Any adverse findings by a Government agency or local council regarding a business or its operation;

• A business is, or notice has been given that it will be, placed under external administration;

• There is a petition for bankruptcy or to wind up or deregister a company or business; and

• The business is or becomes deregistered or unregistered (including cancellation or lapse in registration or any relevant permit).

6.4 Businesses must ensure that their ABN registration information is current and accurate as at the time of application.

6.5 Each application will be carefully considered and assessed against the eligibility criteria. If an unsuccessful Applicant considers that their application has been incorrectly assessed, they will have the opportunity to lodge a complaint. More information on the complaints process and a complaint form can be found at https://business.vic.gov.au/contact-us/complaints.

6.6 Only final applications that are lodged with the Department will be considered and assessed, and applications in draft stage will not be considered.

7 Compliance and Audit

7.1 Applications may be subject to audit by the Victorian Government, its representatives or the relevant Auditor-General 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.

7.2 If any information in the application is found to be incomplete, inaccurate, false or misleading, or grants are not applied for the purposes of the business in accordance with the terms of funding as set out in these Guidelines and any attached application, the grant will be repayable on demand.

 

8 Other information about this Program

8.1 DJPR reserves the right to amend these guidelines and application terms at any time as it deems appropriate.

8.2 DJPR will endeavour to notify all Applicants of the outcome of their submitted application within 10 business days.

There may be delays if your application:

• does not meet all the eligibility criteria

• does not have correct evidence or documentation

• requires you to make changes • is a duplicate application for the same business

• has incorrect information, such as ABN or bank details (for successful Applicants)

• does not include current or accurate information registered with relevant regulators or partner agencies, such as the State Revenue Office, Australian Business Register or WorkSafe Victoria.

 

9 Closing date and how to apply

9.1 The Program will be open for applications until program funds are exhausted or 11.59pm Thursday 24 June 2021, whichever is earlier.

9.2 Applicants are required to submit an application online via the Business Victoria website (business.vic.gov.au). All questions in the application need to be completed and requested information is to be provided to ensure timely assessment and grant payment.

9.3 If you have any queries about your application or require further information on the program visit business.vic.gov.au or contact the Business Victoria Hotline at 13 22 15.


ANZSIC Industry codes for Business Support Grants


Please note:

If your ANZSIC industry code is not on this list, you are not eligible for funding through the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two. This list applies to both employing and non-employing businesses in Metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria.

* Regional businesses in these ANZSIC classes may be eligible for a $2,500 grant due to easing of restrictions in regional Victoria.

# Businesses in these ANZSIC classes may be eligible for a $2,500 grant due to easing of restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Categories

 

Non-essential retail

3911 Car Retailing*

3912 Motor Cycle Retailing*

3913 Trailer and Other Motor Vehicle Retailing*

3921 Motor Vehicle Parts Retailing*

3922 Tyre Retailing*

4129 Other Specialised Food Retailing*

4211 Furniture Retailing*

4212 Floor Coverings Retailing*

4213 Houseware Retailing*

4214 Manchester and Other Textile Goods Retailing*

4221 Electrical, Electronic and Gas Appliance Retailing*

4222 Computer and Computer Peripheral Retailing*

4229 Other Electrical and Electronic Goods Retailing*

4231 Hardware and Building Supplies Retailing*

4232 Garden Supplies Retailing*

4241 Sport and Camping Equipment Retailing*

4242 Entertainment Media Retailing*

4243 Toy and Game Retailing*

4244 Newspaper and Book Retailing*

4245 Marine Equipment Retailing*

4251 Clothing Retailing*

4252 Footwear Retailing*

4253 Watch and Jewellery Retailing*

4259 Other Personal Accessory Retailing*

4260 Department Stores*

4272 Stationery Goods Retailing*

4273 Antique and Used Goods Retailing*

4274 Flower Retailing*

4279 Other Store-Based Retailing n.e.c.*

4320 Retail Commission-Based Buying and/or Selling*

Hospitality

4511 Cafes and Restaurant*

4513 Catering Services*

4520 Pubs, Taverns and Bars*

4530 Clubs (Hospitality)*

Tourism

4400 Accommodation*

4621 Interurban and Rural Bus Transport*

4623 Taxi and Other Road Transport*

4820 Water Passenger Transport*

4900 Air and Space Transport*

5010 Scenic and Sightseeing Transport

5029 Other Transport n.e.c (e.g. ski lift, ski tow operators)*

5299 Other Transport Support Services n.e.c.*

6611 Passenger Car Rental and Hiring*

7220 Travel Agency and Tour Arrangement Services*

8910 Museum Operation

8921 Zoological and Botanical Gardens Operations*

8922 Nature Reserves and Conservation Park Operation*

9131 Amusement Parks and Centres Operation

9139 Amusement and Other Recreational Activities n.e.c.*

Events and related services

5511 Motion Picture and Video Production*

5513 Motion Picture Exhibition*

5522 Music and Other Sound Recording Activities*

6619 Other Motor Vehicle and Transport Equipment Rental and Hiring*

6631 Heavy Machinery and Scaffolding Rental and Hiring*

6632 Video and Other Electronic Media Rental and Hiring*

6639 Other Goods and Equipment Rental and Hiring n.e.c*

6991 Professional Photographic Services (e.g. wedding and events photographers/videographers)*

7299 Other Administrative Services n.e.c (e.g. events management / organisers)*

9001 Performing Arts Operation*

9002 Creative Artists, Musicians, Writers and Performers*

9003 Performing Arts Venue Operation*

9511 Hairdressing and Beauty Services*

9539 Other personal services n.e.c. (e.g. wedding celebrants)*

Services and education

7311 Building and Other Industrial Cleaning Services

7313 Gardening Services*#

7712 Investigation and Security Services*

8211 Sports and Physical Recreation Instruction

8212 Arts Education

8219 Adult, Community and Other Education n.e.c.

9111 Health and Fitness Centres and Gymnasia Operation

9112 Sports and Physical Recreation Clubs and Sports Professionals

9113 Sports and Physical Recreation Venues, Grounds and Facilities Operation

9114 Sports and Physical Recreation Administrative Service

9429 Other Machinery and Equipment Repair and Maintenance*

9491 Clothing and Footwear Repair*

9499 Other Repair and Maintenance n.e.c.*

9512 Diet and Weight Reduction Centre Operation*

9531 Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Services*

9532 Photographic Film Processing*

9534 Brothel Keeping and Prostitution Services

Health care and social assistance

8531 Dental Services*

8532 Optometry and Optical Dispensing*

8533 Physiotherapy Services*

8534 Chiropractic and Osteopathic Services*

8539 Other Allied Health Services*

8599 Other Health Care Services n.e.c.*

 

Which sectors are eligible for a grant?

To see if your business is in an eligible industry sector you should:

  • check the four-digit ANZSIC class linked to your Australian Business Number (ABN) on the Australian Business Register and confirm it matches your primary business activity
  • check if the four-digit ANZSIC class linked to your ABN is in the list of eligible ANZSIC classes for this program.

If your four-digit ANZSIC class linked to your ABN is not on the list of eligible ANZSIC classes for this program, then your business is not eligible for a grant under this program.
If you need to update your ANZSIC class, more information is available on the Australian Business Register.


You should only change your ANZSIC class if your current one does not accurately reflect your business activity.

Which sectors are NOT eligible for a grant?


Businesses that are continuing to operate or can work from home during restrictions are not eligible to apply for a grant. For example:

  • essential retail (i.e. supermarkets, food retailers, pharmacies)
  • manufacturing
  • construction
  • mining
  • agriculture, forestry and fishing
  • professional services (with some exceptions, such as wedding and events photographers).

My business is able to partially operate during restrictions. Can I apply for this grant?
Businesses in eligible sectors continuing to operate but unable to carry out their usual business activity can apply and may be eligible for a grant.
For example:

  • a retail business unable to open for normal trading but changed its operation to ‘click and collect’
  • a restaurant unable to have dine-in service but can operate a limited takeaway service.

Why are some businesses getting $2500 when others get $5000?


The grant amount payable is determined by the business’ industry sector (see Eligible ANZSIC classes) and its location.
Businesses that were subject to restrictions between 28 May 2021 and 3 June 2021 (inclusive) will be eligible for funding of $2500.
Businesses that continue to be subject to restrictions on and from 11:59pm on Thursday 3 June 2021 will be eligible for funding of $5000.

My business is a gardening business, why am I only eligible for a $2500 grant?


Gardening service providers in regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne are able to resume operating from 11:59pm on Thursday 3 June 2021, so they are only eligible for a $2500 grant rather than the $5000 grant, which is only for businesses that remain subject to restrictions after Thursday 3 June 2021.

How do I update my Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) on the Australian Business Register?


Only update your ANZSIC class if your current class does not reflect the activities of your business.

Business Victoria is not able to advise you on which ANZSIC class your business falls into. If you are unsure about your business’ ANZSIC class, please seek independent advice, from your accountant for example, or by contacting the Australian Business Register.
If you need to update your ABR details, there is a step-by-step guide on the Australian Business Register and the Business Victoria website.


Why do I have to be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) to receive this grant?


For the purposes of this program, being registered for GST indicates that your business was actively trading prior to 27 May 2021 up to now.

A business must register for GST when it has a GST turnover (gross income minus GST) of $75,000 or more.

Not-for-profit entities with annual turnover between $75,000 and $150,000, that are not registered for GST and are registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission, are eligible to apply.

Businesses with annual 2019-20 turnover of more than $75,000 that are not required under relevant taxation legislation to be registered for GST are also eligible to apply.

I previously applied for the Business Support Fund (or another COVID-19 related grant) and was not eligible. Can I still apply for this program?


Yes, but you must meet all this program’s eligibility criteria to be eligible for a grant.

I have applied for a Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 grant, can I also apply for this program?



Businesses can only receive a grant from either the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two or the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021, not both.
If you submit applications to both programs and are found to be eligible under both programs, you will only receive one grant – the program that delivers the highest level of financial support.

However, applying for both programs may result in delays to application processing and receiving your grant payment.

My business is a hospitality venue with a liquor licence and I incurred direct costs as a result of restrictions but I wasn’t eligible for the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund. Can I apply to this program?


Licensed hospitality venues that do not receive a grant under the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 may apply for assistance under the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two if they meet the eligibility requirements.

What types of businesses are eligible?


Employing and non-employing businesses, companies, partnerships, and trusts are eligible to apply for a grant from the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two. Superannuation trusts are not eligible. For more information, please read the program guidelines.
Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two guidelines (PDF 272.46 KB)PDF icon
Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two guidelines (DOCX 1553.88 KB)DOCX icon

I received a grant/support through another COVID-19 business support program. Can I apply for the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two?


Yes. If you meet the eligibility criteria you can apply for a grant from the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two unless you receive a grant through the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021.

My business lost more than $5000 during restrictions. Can I apply for more?


No, the grant is capped at $5000 per eligible business.


If I incurred less than my grant amount in costs, will I need to pay some of the money back?


No. But businesses must attest they have incurred costs as a direct result of the restrictions to be eligible for a grant.


I am a performer/artist who has lost work during restrictions, but I am not registered for GST. Can I still access support?


No, under the program guidelines all applicants must be registered for GST. A business or enterprise must register for GST if it has a turnover of $75,000 or more.
Not-for-profit entities with annual turnover between $75,000 and $150,000, that are not registered for GST and are registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission, are eligible to apply.


Which identification documents should I submit with my application?


I’ve received notification that my identification check has returned an invalid result or could not be validated. How do I update my proof of identity?
Update your contact details by following the steps outlined in our Proof of Identity Verification User Guide.
Download a copy of these instructions: Updating Proof of Identity Details in Grant Hub forms (PDF 633.93 KB)PDF icon

How do I know what the status of my application is?


The status of your application will appear in the Business Victoria Grants Portal:

  • Draft – you have started an application
  • Submitted – you have accepted the terms and conditions and submitted
  • Under assessment – your application has been received and is being assessed by the Business Victoria team
  • Successful – your application was successful
  • Unsuccessful – your application was unsuccessful.

From the time you submit your application, you will receive progress notifications.
We cannot contact you while your application remains in ‘draft’ as you haven’t yet given permission for the department to use your contact details.


I wasn’t eligible for a grant from the first round of the Business Costs Assistance Program. Can I apply for this round?


Yes, you can apply for the second round of the Business Costs Assistance Program. This round has an expanded list of eligible sectors compared to the previous round, to cover businesses most impacted by the May and June 2021 restrictions, and reflect that businesses no longer have JobKeeper or other safety nets to fall back on.
You will be eligible for a grant from the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two if you meet all the program’s eligibility criteria.

How do I provide evidence that my business is registered for WorkCover Insurance with WorkSafe Victoria?


If you are an employing business, you will need to include your unique WorkCover Employer Number (WEN) on your application.

Your WEN can be found on the top right-hand corner of your 2020-21 invoice from WorkSafe Victoria. Your WEN is also printed on your WorkSafe Certificate of Currency. Note you do not need to provide your certificate of currency when applying for this grant.
If you have only recently applied to be registered with WorkSafe and do not have a WEN, please provide the WorkSafe Application Reference Number (WRN) instead.
Non-employing businesses do not need to provide a WEN on their application.
I’ve recently applied for a WorkCover Employer Number (WEN) but haven’t received it. What can I provide in my application as evidence that I’m registered with WorkSafe Victoria?
If you have only recently applied to be registered with WorkSafe and do not have a WEN, please provide the WorkSafe Application Reference Number (WRN) instead.
A WRN is issued in the format of NR-XXXXXX-XXXXXX when you submit an online application for WorkCover insurance. It appears in printable form once the application is submitted. You will also receive an email with the number.
When your WEN is issued, your information will be updated in our systems automatically and we will progress your application. You do not need to take any action.
Please note that applications with a WRN may take longer to process because the WorkCover registration process must be complete before we can start assessing your application.
You must provide details of a current proof of identity document. This must be one of the following: a driver licence or learner permit issued in any Australian jurisdiction; or an Australian Passport; or a Medicare Card; or a foreign passport for those issued with an Australian Visa.

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