This program is now closed for applications.
The First Peoples’ COVID-19 Business Support Fund — Extension provides additional support to eligible Victorian Aboriginal businesses that have been affected by trading restrictions introduced to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Grants can be used to help to meet business costs including rent and salaries, develop marketing activities or pivot the business offering in response to the current environment. A full list of uses can be found below.
Eligible businesses will be provided with a one-off grant of $6000.
To be eligible, businesses must be a certified Victorian Aboriginal business through Kinaway Chamber of Commerce (Kinaway).
You can find out more about the process of certification on the Kinaway website.
Before applying, please read the information provided on this page, including the program guidelines and frequently asked questions (FAQs). Applicants must also ensure they have the required documentation before they apply.
- This extension program is for eligible Aboriginal businesses that have not received funding under the First Peoples’ COVID-19 Support Fund that closed on 26 March 2021. Businesses that did receive this previous funding may be eligible for an additional automatic payment amount under the Program.
- Aboriginal businesses that have already received funding through the Business Costs Assistance Program/s or Small Business COVID Hardship Fund are not eligible for funding under this program.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Applications for this program will close at 11:59pm on 7 December 2021.
What support is available?
Eligible Aboriginal businesses can receive a grant of $6000 per Australian Business Number (ABN).
Businesses that received financial assistance through the First Peoples’ COVID-19 Business Support Fund will receive an automatic payment if the business:
- has received a grant under First Peoples’ COVID-19 Business Support Fund
- has not closed and remains operating in Victoria
- continues to meet the program eligibility criteria under First Peoples’ COVID-19 Business Support Fund
- has not received a grant under the Business Costs Assistance Program/s or the Small Business COVID Hardship Fund.
Only one grant will be awarded to each eligible ABN, regardless of the number of business names attached to that ABN.
Who can apply for this grant?
This fund is open to Victorian Aboriginal businesses (including sole traders and self-employed businesses) that meet all of the following criteria:
- are a Victorian business (registered in Victoria)
- hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and held that ABN on 27 May 2021
- are certified as an Aboriginal business through Kinaway Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce
- have a minimum annual turnover of $30,000 (or pro-rata turnover if an annual turnover is not available)
- have been impacted by temporary trading restrictions introduced to slow the spread of COVID-19.
What businesses are not eligible for this grant?
Charitable organisations, community organisations, co-operatives and Australian public companies are not eligible for funding under this program.
What can the grant funds be used for?
Grants can be used to:
- meet business costs, including utilities, stock, salaries or rent
- seek financial, legal or other advice to support business continuity planning
- develop the business through marketing and communications activities
- address supply chain and logistics challenges
- pivot the business to the current environment
- conduct other supporting activities related to the operation of the business.
What evidence do businesses need to provide to prove eligibility and compliance?
Applicants must certify in writing that they meet the eligibility criteria.
Applicants must provide a copy of their business certification documentation from Kinaway as evidence that the business is an eligible Victorian Aboriginal business.
If the business is not a Kinaway certified business, the applicant will be required to contact Kinaway and complete the certification process before submitting their application for funding under this program.
Applicants must also provide evidence that the business meets the minimum annual turnover of $30,000 (or pro-rata turnover if an annual turnover is not available). This evidence can be any of the following:
- a letter from a Qualified Agent declaring annual turnover or pro-rata turnover of three months prior to 27 May 2021
- an annual Business Activity Statement (BAS) from 2018/19, 2019/20 or 2020/21
- at least one Quarterly BAS from 2019/2020 or 2020/21.
How to apply
Before applying, please read the information on this page, including the program guidelines and frequently asked questions (FAQs). Applicants must also ensure they have the required documentation before they apply.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Are previous recipients of the Victorian Government’s coronavirus (COVID-19) support packages eligible for this grant?
I run an Aboriginal small business but I am not certified by Kinaway Chamber of Commerce. Can I still apply?
You must complete certification with Kinaway before submitting your grant application. Visit their website for more information on certification.
I have not heard about my application. Is it still being considered?
We endeavour to process all applications within 10 business days.
There may be delays in processing an application if the application:
- does not meet all the eligibility criteria
- does not have correct information, evidence or documentation to substantiate the eligibility criteria
- 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 Australian Business Register, Australian Taxation Office or Kinaway.
In all circumstances you will be notified of any of these issues.
If you require further assistance, please call the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15.
How can I know the status of my application?
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 by email.
However, please note that we cannot contact you while your application is still in ‘draft’ or not yet submitted as this means that you have not given the department permission to use your contact details.