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Victoria Increases Support Package For Businesses Amid Lockdown Extension

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With the announcement of a lockdown extension for another seven days, the Victorian government has announced a fresh $209.3 million support package for small and medium businesses (SMEs).

The announcement comes after the state government announced a $250.7 million support package on Sunday, May 30. The fresh announcement brings the total business funding relief to $460 million.

Acting Victorian Premier James Merlino said, “Today I am also able to confirm that businesses most impacted by the extension of these public health restrictions including operators in hospitality, retail events and creative industries will receive further support.”

Business Costs Assistance Program

Meanwhile, the government has decided to double the grant under the business costs assistance program from $2,500 to $5,000 in total. The grant is aimed at businesses in metropolitan Melbourne that are hit hardest because of the restrictions. These include restaurants and cafes, hotels and non-essential retailers who are unable to operate at all.

“The Government is adding a further $209 million, this is on top of the $250 million packages.. and that will include $181 million to increase the business cost assistance program, increasing those grants from $2500 to $5000 in total,” Merlino said.

Hospitality Venue Fund

The government  also added $28 million to the hospitality venue fund. This increases the grants from $3,500 per premises for businesses hit in the first week of lockdown, to $7,000 per premises for the second week. The fund is aimed at businesses holding an eligible liquor licence and food certificate.

Rise in Cases

Victoria has added six new cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, official data shows. This brings total infections in the latest outbreak to 60. The state had earlier enforced a seven-day circuit breaker lockdown which was due to end on Thursday, June 3.

The extension to lockdown currently only applies to Greater Melbourne. The authorities are closely monitoring regional Victoria for the next 24 hours before making a decision.

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Yajush Gupta
Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.