Please note

This program is closed. If you were unsuccessful in your application and did not receive funding, requests for reassessment closed at 11:59pm on Wednesday 31 January 2024.

On this page


This program was delivered by the former Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions. The program is now closed. The information on this web page is provided as a reference for people who applied to that program and would like to appeal an unsuccessful outcome or return their payment.

Information contained in the guidelines document including website links may be out of date.

Program guidelines

Small Business COVID Hardship Fund guidelines (PDF 922.98 KB) PDF icon

Small Business COVID Hardship Fund guidelines (DOCX 784.69 KB) DOCX icon

Why did I have to submit an enquiry about my unsuccessful application to a COVID-19 business support program by Wednesday 31 January 2024? Which programs does this apply to?

These programs have been closed 12 months or longer. Unsuccessful applicants have had sufficient time to submit an enquiry.

  • Business Support Fund (all rounds)
  • Sole Trader Support Fund
  • Business Costs Assistance Program (all rounds and payments)
  • Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund (all rounds and payments)
  • Small Business COVID Hardship Fund
  • Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund (all rounds)
  • Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package
  • COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Voucher Program
  • Small Business Digital Adaptation Program (all rounds)
  • Melbourne Travel Voucher Scheme (all rounds)
  • Regional Travel Voucher Scheme (all rounds)
  • Seniors Travel Voucher Scheme (all rounds)
  • Rapid Antigen Test Allocation Pilot
  • Night Time Economy Business Support Initiative
  • COVID Safe Deep Cleaning Rebate
  • Test Isolation Payment Program

Unsuccessful applicants still have the option of contacting the Victorian Ombudsman. The Victorian Ombudsman handles complaints about actions and decisions of departments and other Victorian public bodies.

Visit Victorian Ombudsman complaints or call 1800 806 314 for more information.

If my business is subject to an audit, what actions do I need to take?

You will receive an email (and SMS) requesting you submit evidence of impact on your business as a result the COVID-19 circuit breaker actions, and evidence of your grant expenditure on eligible items. Alternately, if you have not spent the funds on eligible expenses related to this grant or believe your business may not have been eligible to receive funding, you can chose to return the grant you received, or if facing financial hardship submit a request to be considered for a repayment plan.

If you do not respond to this request, the Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions will consider further action and the Department will contact you.

Can I return my Small Business COVID Hardship Fund payment?

Yes, if you would like to return your payment, you can email

Please make sure you:

  • clearly state that you want to return your payment; and
  • provide your GA number (this can be found at the top of your application form or in the confirmation email you received after submitting your application).