Extra support for Victorian businesses

The Commonwealth and Victorian Governments have announced a new, jointly funded business support package, delivering an additional $400 million in support to thousands of Victorian businesses.

For more information, see Extra support for Victorian businesses.

FAQ categories:

Questions about eligibility

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.

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.

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.

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 273.71 KB)PDF icon

Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two guidelines (DOCX 210.9 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.

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 know if I’m eligible for the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two Tourism Supplement?

To be eligible for the Tourism Supplement, businesses must:

  • have already applied and been approved for a Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two grant
  • be listed in an eligible Tourism sector (see Eligible ANZSIC classes page), predominantly providing an experience and/or service to meet the needs of tourists.

You do not need to apply again for the Tourism Supplement. If you are eligible for a Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two grant, the Tourism Supplement will be processed automatically and paid out in July 2021.

I work in the events industry and am eligible for a grant under the Victorian Events Support Package but I’ve already applied for the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two. Can I receive both grants?

You may be eligible for a grant under both the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two and one of the programs under the Victorian Events Support Package. This will depend on the program and the eligibility criteria.

If you are eligible to receive both, you have will your Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two grant amount deducted from the total grant you are eligible for under the relevant program in the Victorian Events Support Package.

See Victorian Events Support Package for more details about the different programs and support available.

Questions about grant payments and top-up payments

Why are some businesses getting $2500 when others get $5000 or $7000?

Some businesses have been impacted by restrictions longer than others.

Businesses that were able to re-open after 11:59pm on Thursday 3 June 2021 are eligible for $2500 while those that continue to be impacted by restrictions after 11.59pm on Thursday 10 June 2021 are eligible for the maximum amount of $7000 to help them cover the costs of bills and rent while they remain closed or unable to fully operate.

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.

My business lost more than $7000 during restrictions. Can I apply for more?

No, the grant is capped at $7000 per eligible business. The amount you receive will also depend on your business’ industry sector, location and the length of time it has been under restrictions.

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.

How do I know if I’m eligible for the $2000 Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two Top-Up Payment announced in June 2021?

To be eligible for the $2000 Top-Up Payment, businesses must:

  • have already applied and been approved for a Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two grant
  • be listed as an eligible sector (see Eligible ANZSIC classes page).

You do not need to apply again for the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two Top-Up Payment. If you are eligible for a Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two grant, the Top-Up Payment will be processed automatically and paid out in July 2021.

What do I need to do to receive the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two Top-Up Payment or the Tourism Supplement?

If you have applied for the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two, you don’t need to do anything else. The top-up or supplement will be automatically paid to successful applicants in eligible sectors in July 2021.

If I receive the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two Top-Up Payment, how much money will I receive in total?

Eligible Top-Up Payment recipients will receive an additional $2000, bringing their total grant to $7000 as part of the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two.

Please note you will not receive the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two grant and Top-Up Payment at the same time. Top-Up payments will be processed after the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two and Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 grants have been paid. We expect to begin processing Top-Up Payments in July 2021.

Can I receive the Tourism Supplement as well as the Top-Up Payment?

No. Eligible tourism businesses – accommodation, attractions and tourism operators – will only receive the Tourism Supplement, bringing their total grant to $7000.

Why didn’t I receive $7000?

The grant amount payable to an eligible business is determined by its industry sector (see Eligible ANZSIC classes), location and the length of time it was impacted by restrictions as outlined below. The longer your business was impacted, the higher the available payment.

  • Eligible businesses impacted by restrictions from 11:59pm on Thursday 27 May 2021 will receive $2500.
  • Eligible businesses that continued to be impacted by restrictions from 11:59pm on Thursday 3 June will receive $5000.
  • Eligible businesses in metropolitan Melbourne (excluding tourism businesses) that continued to be impacted by restrictions from 11:59pm on Thursday 10 June 2021 will receive $7000, which includes a $2000 Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two Top-Up Payment.
  • Eligible tourism businesses, such as accommodation, attractions and tourism operators, will receive $7000, which includes up to an additional $4500 from the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two Tourism Supplement.

I still have not received my grant. When will it be processed?

We endeavour to process your application and notify you about the outcome within 10 business days.

Once we advise you of your successful application, your grant will be paid into your nominated bank account. Depending on your bank, it may take up to five business days for the payment to reach your account.

Please note that we will process top-up payments to eligible recipients after all first instalments of Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two and Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 grants have been paid. We expect to begin processing top-up payments in July 2021.

It might take us longer than ten business days to assess your application 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.

I am eligible for the Top-Up Payment/Tourism Supplement but have only received $2500 or $5000. When will I receive the rest?

Businesses eligible for either the Top-Up Payment or the Tourism Supplement will receive their grant in two instalments: the first instalment of $2500 or $5000 after they have been advised of their successful application and a further top-up in July 2021.

If you have applied for the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two, you don’t need to do anything else. The top-up or supplement will be automatically paid to eligible businesses in July 2021.

Questions about goods and services tax (GST)

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

This program requires a business to be registered for GST because it shows the business was actively trading before Thursday 27 May 2021 and is a genuine operation, which the owner and their employees or contractors rely on for income.

This is consistent with our previous COVID-19 support programs, including the Business Support Fund rounds two and three, the Sole Trader Support Fund (which supported non-employing businesses, including sole traders) and the first round of the Business Costs Assistance Program.

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, which 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 tax legislation to be registered for GST, such as NDIS providers and time-share accommodation businesses, are also eligible to apply.

My business has an annual 2019-20 turnover of less than $75,000, which means I’m not required to be registered for GST. Am I eligible for a grant under this program due to this exception?

No, you must be registered for GST on Thursday 27 May 2021 and meet all the other eligibility criteria to receive a grant under this program.

The only exceptions require a turnover of $75,000:

  • not-for-profit entities with annual turnover between $75,000 and $150,000 that are not registered for GST but are registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission are eligible to apply
  • businesses with annual 2019-20 turnover of $75,000 or more that are not required by relevant tax legislation to be registered for GST, such as NDIS providers and time-share accommodation businesses, are eligible to apply but must provide a statutory declaration from a registered tax agent with their application.

Please consult a registered tax agent or the Australian Taxation Office if you need more information about whether your business falls under either of these categories.

Sole traders who are not registered for GST should check with Services Australia to see if they are eligible for the Australian Government’s COVID-19 Disaster Payment for people affected by restrictions, announced by the Prime Minister on 4 June. The new payment will help Victorian workers who are unable to earn income due to the current lockdown restrictions. Information is available on the Services Australia website, and Victorians can apply from Tuesday 8 June 2021.

I recently registered my business for GST. Will this affect my eligibility?

For the purposes of this program, you will need to ensure your GST registration was active on Thursday 27 May 2021. More information about this is available on the Australian Taxation Office website.

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.

Questions about evidence and documentation

Which identification documents should I submit with my 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.

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 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.

What does the attestation mean regarding worker support? What do I have to do?

Employing businesses applying for the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two and the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 must attest that their business is supporting:

  • its workers to access any paid leave entitlements
  • its workers to work from home, where possible
  • its casual workers, where possible.

We know these are difficult times for many businesses and workers. The attestation aims to confirm that employing businesses are making reasonable efforts to support their workers.

Businesses who are making reasonable efforts to support their workers should apply. Grants must be used to assist the business, including by meeting business costs such as wages.

Following up on your application and the application process

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 have not received a decision about my Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two grant application. Will I receive the Top-Up Payment?

If you are eligible for the program and the Top-Up payment, you will receive the latter. But please note that you will not receive both payments at once. You will be paid your first instalment and then the Top-Up Payment. We expect to begin processing and paying out Top-Up Payments in July 2021.

When will I receive the top-up payment?

We will process top-up payments to eligible recipients after all first instalments of Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two and Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 grants have been paid. We expect to begin processing top-up payments in July 2021.