What is the Alpine Resorts Support Program?

The $10.31 million Alpine Resorts Support Program supports businesses in the Alpine Resorts, who have generally not qualified for the Commonwealth JobKeeper or Victorian Government business support packages to date, manage the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The program is delivered across three streams:

  • Stream 1: $4.31 million to provide grants of up to $20,000 to head lessee businesses to assist in paying their service charges to the Resort Management Boards (by invitation only)
  • Stream 2: $5 million to provide grants of up to $25,000 to non-head lessee commercial operators within the Alpine Resorts and commercial operators located at Dinner Plain
  • Stream 3: $1 million to provide grants of up to $25,000 to head lessee businesses that are critical to the economies of the resorts (by invitation only).

Who is eligible to apply for a grant under Stream 2?

Businesses operating within a Victorian Alpine Resort or Dinner Plain are eligible to apply for a grant.

Businesses must fulfil all the following criteria to be eligible to apply for a grant:

  • operate within a Victorian Alpine Resort or Dinner Plain
  • hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN at 13 September 2020
  • be an employing business and be registered with WorkSafe
  • be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) as at 13 September 2020
  • be registered with the responsible Federal or State regulator
  • operate:
    • a food and beverage venue (restaurant, café, pub, bar, club or other food venue)
    • a retail outlet (rental, clothing, footwear, equipment, supermarket, pharmacy, gifts)
    • a business that provides services directly to visitors (transport, activities, experiences, entertainment, health & wellbeing)
    • an accommodation business that also has a public on-site food and beverage venue or a retail outlet.

What evidence needs to be provided to show eligibility?

Applicants must certify that they meet the eligibility criteria, including declaring if they have received a Victorian Government grant from any of the following programs: Business Support Fund, Business Support Fund Expansion, Business Support Fund Round 3 and/or Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund.

They must also ensure that their ABN is up-to-date and current as at the time of application.

Applicants must provide at least one of the following:

  • a current Certificate of Currency for Worksafe Insurance
  • a Certificate of Currency for Worksafe Insurance from a previous financial year no earlier than 2019/20 or 2018/19
  • evidence of application for Worksafe registration (if a certificate has not yet been issued).


Applicants must also provide evidence of the location of their business operations through the most recent:

  • utility bill (gas, electricity, telecommunications, water)
  • rental receipt
  • signed sub-lease agreement or licence agreement
  • business permit.

What type of businesses are not eligible for funding through the grant?

The following businesses are not eligible for funding under this program:

  • businesses that pay annual service charges and/or site rent directly to an Alpine Resort Management Board
  • businesses that has received funding assistance through any other stream of the Alpine Resorts Support program.

What level of funding is available through the grant?

Successful applicants will receive a maximum grant of $25,000.

Any business that has received funding under the Victorian Government’s Business Support Fund, Business Support Fund Expansion, Business Support Fund Round 3 and/or Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund will have this funding amount deducted from the maximum $25,000 available under Stream 2 of the program.

When will the period for grant applications close?

The program is open for applications until 11:59pm on 17 February 2021 or until funds are exhausted, whichever comes first.

How will grants be awarded?

Funding will be allocated through an eligibility grant process until the closing date on 17 February 2021 or until funds are exhausted whichever comes first.

What can the grants be used for?

Grant funds may be used to assist Alpine Resort businesses in:

  • meeting ordinary business costs, including utilities, salaries and rent
  • seeking financial, legal or other advice to support business continuity planning
  • developing the business through marketing and communications activities
  • any other supporting activities related to the ordinary operation of the business.

How do I apply for a grant?

To apply for a grant, submit an online application with the required documentation through the ‘Apply Now’ button on the program page.

Can a business receive multiple grants as part of the program?

No, a business as defined by its ABN can only receive one grant under this program.

Are all Victorian Alpine Resorts eligible as part of the program?

Yes. Victoria is home to six Alpine Resorts — Falls Creek, Mt Hotham, Mt Buller and Mt Stirling, Lake Mountain and Mt Baw Baw. All businesses operating within these resorts are eligible.

Businesses operating within the Dinner Plain Alpine Village are also eligible to apply for a grant under Stream 2 of the Program if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Can accommodation businesses within a Victorian Alpine Resort or Dinner Plain apply for support?

Yes. Owners of accommodation businesses can apply if they also have a public on-site food and beverage venue (for example, a restaurant or café that forms part of the operations of the accommodation business applying for the grant) or a retail outlet.

I operate a ski hire business in a town near the Alpine Resorts (for example, Mansfield or Bright). Am I eligible for a grant under Stream 2 of the program?

No. Stream 2 of the Alpine Resorts Support Program supports businesses located in the Alpine Resorts or at Dinner Plain only.

Can I apply for a grant if I have received prior funding support through the Victorian Government’s business support programs including Business Support Fund, Business Support Fund – Expansion, Third round of the Business Support Fund and the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund?

Yes, you can, however depending on the amount of funding received under these programs, you may not be eligible for an additional grant under Stream 2 of this program.

Any business that has received funding under these programs will have these amounts deducted from the maximum $25,000 available under Stream 2 of this program.

Examples:

Example (a): Maximum Alpine Resorts Support Program — Stream 2 grant (b): Value of BSF, BSFe, BSF3 and LHVF grants Final eligible grant amount for Alpine Resorts Support Program — Stream 2 (amount (a) less amount (b))
Example 1 $25,000 $0 – no grants received $25,000
Example 2 $25,000 $5,000 BSFe$20,000
Example 3 $25,000 $5,000 BSFe
 
$15,000 BSF3
$5,000
Example 4 $25,000 $10,000 BSF
 
$5,000 BSFe
 
$10,000 BSF3
$0
Example 5 $25,000 $5,000 BSFe
 
$15,000 LHVF
$5,000
Example 6 $25,000 $10,000 LHVF$15,000

BSF: Business Support Fund

BSFe: Business Support Fund — Expansion

BSF3: Third round of the Business Support Fund

LHVF: Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund

How long will you take to process my application?

We will endeavour to process all applications within 10 business days of the program closing (11:59pm on 17 February 2021).

Will I receive notification if I am eligible for Stream 1 or Stream 3 of Alpine Resorts Support Program?

Any business eligible for these streams will receive email notification with an invitation to apply.

I have more than one business, can I receive more than one Alpine Resorts Support Program grant?

If you have more than one business registered with different ABNs and they can individually meet the relevant criteria, you may be eligible for a grant for each business. You need to submit a separate application for each business.

What should I do if I accidentally submit two applications? How can I retract one?

Each business as identified by its ABN, is eligible to receive only one grant of up to $25,000.

If you have accidentally submitted two applications for one business (i.e. under one ABN), you do not need to retract one — if the business is deemed eligible we will only pay one grant for that ABN.

Why do I need to have an Australian Business Number (ABN) to be eligible?

The Alpine Resorts Support Program — Stream 2 is designed to support businesses in the Alpine Resorts and Dinner Plain that have been impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions in Victoria. There are currently no plans to extend the program to providers without an Australian Business Number (ABN).

Will payments made under the Alpine Resorts Support Program – Stream 2 be subject to a future audit?

Yes.

Successful applicants for the Alpine Resorts Support Program — Stream 2 may be subject to an audit by the Victorian Government or its representatives for a period of four years after the grant was approved.

This will require you to produce evidence of meeting the eligibility criteria at the time of application.

What is a business that employs people?

Generally, an employing business is one that pays or is liable to pay wages to employees. When a business pays employee wages, employers are required to withhold PAYG tax on behalf of employees.

For the purposes of the program, a sole trader; or individual in a partnership; or individual trustees of trusts that do not employ people other than themselves are not considered an ‘employing business’ and are not eligible for a grant.

Businesses that hire workers through labour hire or training organisations (for example, apprentices), or that contract other companies, sole traders or individual partners, are not considered ‘employers’ for the purposes of this program.

Employing businesses are generally required by law to register for WorkCover insurance if they employ apprentices or pay annual wages of more than $7,500.

If you are unsure about your employer status and WorkCover obligations, the WorkSafe website contains more detailed information about employment arrangements and WorkCover requirements.

Alternatively, contact WorkSafe to speak to an agent about the unique circumstances of your business.

Why do I need to be registered with WorkSafe to be eligible for the Alpine Resorts Support Program — Stream 2 grant?

The Alpine Resorts Support Program — Stream 2 was launched to support businesses in Victoria’s Alpine Resorts and Dinner Plain that employ people. Registration for WorkCover insurance:

  • shows your business is employing people
  • provides additional information about the location of your business
  • confirms your business is operating in Victoria.

The WorkCover Employer Number (WEN) provided by applicants is used to validate with WorkSafe that the business employs people and that they have a registered business operation located in a Victorian Alpine Resort or Dinner Plain.

To be eligible for a grant, a business must be registered with WorkSafe and able to provide a WorkCover Employer Number (WEN) or WorkSafe Application Reference Number (WRN) if WEN is unavailable.

All businesses that employ apprentices or have paid more than $7,500 in remuneration in a financial year to individuals employed as workers are required to register with WorkSafe and pay a Workcover Insurance premium for that year. Sole traders, individuals in partnerships; or individual trustees of trusts that do not hire other people as workers cannot be registered.

For the purposes of the Alpine Resorts Support Program — Stream 2, these businesses are not considered to ‘employ people’ and are not eligible. Similarly, if you were exempt from the requirement for WorkCover Insurance in 2019-20, for example you have paid less than $7,500 in remuneration, you will not be eligible for the grant.

Typically, businesses that only contract workers or hire them from labour hire or training organisations are not considered to be employers. However, these contractors in some cases can be considered ‘employees’ and that business would be considered an employing business and is required to register for WorkCover insurance. Read the WorkSafe guidelines for more information on whether a contractor is considered an employee.

If you are unsure, the WorkSafe website has more detailed information about employment arrangements and WorkCover requirements. You can also contact WorkSafe to speak to an agent about the unique circumstances of your business.

How do I provide evidence that my business is registered with WorkSafe?

Applicants must provide at least one of the following:

  • a current Certificate of Currency for Worksafe Insurance
  • a Certificate of Currency for Worksafe Insurance from a previous financial year no earlier than 2019/20 or 2018/19
  • evidence of application for Worksafe registration (if a certificate has not yet been issued).

All employers should have received their 2020-21 invoice from WorkSafe via email or mail in July 2020. The invoice contains the WEN at the top right-hand corner of the notice.

I’ve applied for a WorkCover Employer Number (WEN). Can I apply for the Alpine Resorts Support Program — Stream 2, even if I don’t receive my WEN before the program closes on 17 February 2021?

Businesses that have applied for WorkCover Insurance can apply to the Alpine Resorts Support Program — Stream 2 by providing their WorkSafe Application Reference Number in place of the WEN in their application. Please note that your Alpine Resorts Support Program — Stream 2 application must be submitted before the program closes on 17 February 2021.

A WorkCover Application Reference Number (WRN) is issued in the format of NR-XXXXXX-XXXXXX when a business submits an online application for WorkCover insurance. It appears in printable form once the application is submitted, and the applicant will also receive an email containing the number.

Please also note that Alpine Resorts Support Program — Stream 2 applications with a WRN instead of a WEN may take longer to process, as the WorkCover registration process needs to be completed before the business can be verified as an employer located in Victoria.

Once WorkSafe issues a WEN for your business, your eligibility for an Alpine Resorts Support Program — Stream 2 grant will be assessed using the program's standard grant assessment process.

WorkSafe Victoria is experiencing a large volume of WorkCover Insurance applications so there may be delays in their finalising or updating your registration.

If WorkSafe determines that you are not an employer for the purposes of WorkCover insurance, you will not be considered an ‘employing business’ under the Alpine Resorts Support Program — Stream 2 and will be ineligible for a grant.

Will WorkSafe Victoria issue a Certificate of Exemption for businesses that are not required to register for Workcover insurance?

WorkSafe Victoria does not issue certificates or letters of exemption for businesses that are not required to register with WorkSafe Victoria for WorkCover insurance. WorkSafe will only register businesses and issue a WorkCover Employer Number (WEN) to businesses that are required by law to be registered for WorkCover.

Businesses that are not considered employers under WorkSafe legislation will not be registered and issued with the associated WEN, and are not eligible for the Alpine Resorts Support Program — Stream 2.

Do I need to change my business address to the address where my ABN is registered?

No, the address listed against an ABN is not the primary method for verifying a business address in your application. The primary method of confirming a business address is a Worksafe Employer Number WEN. This is used to verify that the address you provided in the application matches the address of a workplace registered with WorkSafe.

My business employs people, but I am covered by other insurance and not required to register for WorkCover insurance. Am I eligible for the Alpine Resorts Support Program — Stream 2?

Businesses that employ apprentices or pay more than $7,500 in annual remuneration to employees are required by law to register for WorkCover insurance. Public liability and professional indemnity insurance or TAC third party insurance does not remove the requirement to be registered for WorkCover.

Typically, businesses that only hire workers through labour hire or training organisations (for example, apprentices), or that contract other companies, sole traders or individual partners are generally not considered ‘employers’.

When these businesses are deemed not to employ people for WorkCover purposes, they are not required to register for WorkCover insurance. If you are not considered an ‘employer’ in these circumstances you are not eligible for an Alpine Resorts Support Program - Stream 2 grant.

If your business is not required to register with WorkSafe because it is not an 'employing business', the business is not eligible for the Alpine Resorts Support Program — Stream 2.

Sole traders, individuals in partnerships and individual trustees of trusts that do not employ other people can not register. These businesses are not eligible for the Alpine Resorts Support Program — Stream 2.

How will you use the information I provide?

The Department will verify the information you supply us with the relevant regulator to ensure the business is active, legitimate, does not have any adverse charges and meets the eligibility criteria.

How do I register with the responsible federal or state regulator?

Visit:

What are the responsible Commonwealth and State regulators that a business needs to be registered with?

For the purpose of the Alpine Resorts Support Program — Stream 2, businesses must be registered with the responsible State or Federal regulators, where they are required to be by relevant and applicable law.

Charities or not-for-profit organisations must be registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).

Incorporated associations must be registered with Consumers Affairs Victoria (CAV).

Generally, a business is defined as an entity with a business name registered with the Australian Securities Investment Commission (ASIC).

However, some entity types and structures may not be required to register with ASIC. Some examples where you do not need to register your business name with ASIC include:

  • a sole trader or partnership trading under its legal name – that is, the individual(s) personal legal name(s)
  • a trust operating as a business under the same legal name as the trust (the legal name of the trust when registered).

Further information on registering a business is available on the Australian Government website.

You must ensure your business’ registration is current before you apply.

If your business is not registered with the required regulators when you apply, it will not be eligible to receive a grant.

Why does my business need to be registered for GST to be eligible for the Alpine Resorts Support Program — Stream 2 program?

To be eligible for a grant under the program, a business must be registered for GST as at 13 September 2020.

The Alpine Resorts Support Program — Stream 2 was created to provide financial support to employing businesses in Victoria’s Alpine Resorts and Dinner Plain. A business must register for GST when it has a GST turnover (gross income minus GST) of $75,000 or more. For the purposes of the program, GST registration and its associated obligations indicate the business was a bona fide business operating prior to 13 September 2020. It also provides a signal that the business has a large enough turnover to be an employer, which is also a program eligibility criterion.

Are not-for-profit businesses that are not required to be registered for GST eligible to apply for the Alpine Resorts Support Program — Stream 2 grant?

Charities and not-for -profit organisations that were registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission (ACNC) as at 13 September 2020 and have an annual revenue between $75,000 and $150,000 may apply for the grant, if they meet the other eligibility criteria in the guidelines.

The application form allows for applicants to confirm that they are a not-for-profit within the annual revenue band that is registered with the ACNC.

Not-for-profit businesses are only required to register for GST if they have a revenue of more than $150,000.

I received an email stating ‘Application failed Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) check’. What does this mean?

As part of the grants assessment process, we check with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). If you receive this email, the check has found that your business name is not registered, the registered name does not match the name you provided on your application, or there has been an adverse finding against your business.

An adverse finding is taken into consideration when processing grant applications.

You must ensure your business’ registration is current before you apply. If your business is not registered when you apply, it will not be eligible to receive a grant.

My business does not employ staff. Why isn't it eligible for the Alpine Resorts Support Program — Stream 2 grant?

This program was created to maximise support for employing businesses in Victoria’s Alpine Resorts and Dinner Plain that have been significantly impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

Other forms of support are available – such as JobKeeper and JobSeeker – for non-employing sole traders, partnerships or trustees of trusts.

I have not heard about my application. Is it still being considered?

We aim to provide applicants with the outcome of their application within 10 business days following the close of the program.

Delays may happen if:

  • the application does not meet all criteria outlined in the guidelines
  • you have not submitted the requested supporting documentation
  • the submitted documentation, such as utilities bill or banking information is incorrect
  • the application has been returned to you for amendments
  • more than one application has been submitted for the same business
  • details on the application form are incorrect — for example, incorrect ABN, WorkCover Employee Number (WEN) or banking details (for successful applicants).

Why is it important that I attach accurate supporting documentation to my application?

A utility bill, lease agreement, licence agreement and/or business permit will clearly indicate your business’ physical address within an Alpine Resort or Dinner Plain.

If your supporting documentation and geographical eligibility cannot be verified, the application will be returned, and you will be asked to update your documentation.

I have submitted an application but have not received an email notification. What should I do?

Your spam filter may prevent you from seeing email notifications from us. Please check your junk inbox for emails from  alpineprograms@ecodev.vic.gov.au.

You will be emailed if:

  • you have not submitted the correct supporting documentation
  • your application is considered eligible and you have been awarded a grant
  • your application is ineligible as it does not meet the eligibility criteria of the program.

If you still have not received an email notification, please call the Business Victoria Hotline on 13 22 15 or  contact us.

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

Your application will appear in the Business Victoria Grants Portal as one of five statuses:

  • 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.

After your application has been submitted, you will receive notification of its progress. We cannot contact you while your application remains in ‘draft’, as you haven’t yet provided permission for the department to use your contact details.

What if I need any further assistance?

For further assistance please contact us or call the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15.