Update

The Victorian and Commonwealth Governments have announced further support for businesses in October and November, under the Business Costs Assistance Program and the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund.

More information will be available soon. Read more about the support announced.

Program overview

We recognise that our business community is doing it tough because of the global pandemic. The Victorian Government is always looking for more ways to support more businesses in need. That’s why the Victorian Government’s Small Business COVID Hardship Fund will assist eligible small and medium businesses:

  • whose operations have been severely impacted by COVID-19 restrictions that have been in place since 27 May 2021
  • that have experienced at least a 70% reduction in turnover as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions
  • that are ineligible for other key COVID-19 Victorian Government business grant programs that have been announced since 27 May 2021.

The program offers grants of $20,000 to eligible small and medium businesses, including employing and non-employing businesses. This program will allow more businesses who have previously not received support, to receive financial relief now.

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

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Read the full list of FAQs

Applications for this program closed at 11:59 pm on Friday 10 September 2021.

Small Business COVID Hardship Fund in languages other than English

For information in languages other than English please see below:

If you require assistance from a translator, please visit Translating and Interpreting Service, which is available to any person or organisation in Australia requiring interpreting services.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible, businesses must:

  • be located within Victoria
  • as a direct consequence of COVID‑19 restrictions since 27 May 2021 have experienced a reduction in turnover of at least 70% for a minimum consecutive two-week period comparable to a benchmark period in 2019
  • have an annual Victorian payroll of up to $10 million in 2019-20 on an ungrouped basis
  • have been registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) on and from 28 July 2021
  • hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN on and from 28 July 2021
  • be registered with the responsible Federal or State regulator.

Employing businesses must also:

  • be registered with WorkSafe Victoria
  • attest that the business is supporting its workers to access any paid leave entitlements, or that if a person can work from home, to work from home during the COVID‑19 restrictions, and supporting their casual workers, where possible.

Businesses should ensure that all relevant registrations are up to date before applying for a grant under this program.

Information for other or previous grant recipients

Businesses that have received funding under any of the Victorian Government COVID‑19 support packages launched on or after 27 May 2021 are not eligible for a grant under this program.

Businesses that have received assistance through the Business Support Fund, payroll tax rebate/waiver, or another COVID‑19 program launched prior to 27 May 2021 may apply for assistance under this program.

For more information see frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Grant amount

Eligible businesses will receive a grant of $20,000.

Please note: The total grant amount increased from $14,000 to $20,000 on 4 September 2021. Businesses that have already received a grant through this program will receive an automatic top-up payment of $6,000 into their nominated bank account.

How to apply

Applications for this program closed at 11:59 pm on Friday 10 September 2021.

Other information you need for your application

When applying for this grant you will need:

  • to demonstrate a reduction in turnover of at least 70% for a minimum consecutive two-week period since 27 May 2021 as a direct consequence of COVID‑19 restrictions, comparable to a benchmark period in 2019
  • endorsement of the reduction in turnover by a qualified agent
    • you may be required to provide evidence including a sales report, financial statement and/or a Business Activity Statement (BAS) to demonstrate the reduction in turnover
  • a valid proof of identity document (Australian driver licence, Australian Passport, Medicare Card or Australian visa information and foreign passport).

Incomplete or incorrect information may delay your application assessment. Please ensure you complete the application correctly and provide all relevant documentation.

For more information see frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Assessing your application

We will endeavour to process your application and notify you of a successful outcome within 15 business days of receiving a completed application.

There may be delays in notifying you of an outcome 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)
  • contains incorrect details of the qualified agent, or if the qualified agent fails to endorse your business’ reduction in turnover
  • 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.

We will contact you to provide updates on your application or seek additional information to process your application.

We consider the following circumstances when assessing your application:

  • any adverse findings by a regulator regarding a business
  • if your business is placed under external administration
  • if there is a petition to wind up or deregister a company or business
  • if your business is or becomes deregistered or unregistered (including cancellation or lapse in registration).

You can check the status of your application by logging into the Business Victoria Grants Portal.

Applicants with multiple businesses

You can only apply for one grant per ABN. If you have separate ABNs for your businesses, you must submit separate applications for each ABN. Each business or ABN must satisfy all the eligibility criteria.

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

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Read the full list of FAQs.

Small Business COVID Hardship Fund in languages other than English

For information in languages other than English please see below: