Contents

Questions about the program

What can the grant be used for?

Grant funding can be used to cover expenses directly incurred by flood damage to the place of business, business assets, stock or equipment during the Victorian floods beginning in October 2022.

How much is the grant?

The total available grant is $5000 per business. A business – as defined by its ABN – can only claim one $5000 grant under this program.

What are the eligible local government areas under this program?

See the list of eligible local government areas under the program.

What are examples of ‘significant direct flood damage’?

  • property, business assets, stock or equipment directly damaged by flood water and clean-up or their replacement (purchase or hire) is now necessary
  • structural damage to property, business assets, stock or equipment has occurred as a direct result of the floods and now a qualified person (e.g. tradesperson) is required to inspect (e.g. safety) or repair affected items
  • the place of business is unsafe due to direct flood damage and temporary premises are required to resume business operations
  • property, business assets, stock or equipment was swept away by flood water and their replacement is essential to resume business operations.

Do I need to meet the eligibility criteria to access the Business Relief Service?

No. The Business Relief Service is free and available to all business owners affected by the Victorian floods beginning in October 2022.

I’m filling out an application on my smartphone and I cannot progress beyond the first page of the form. How do I fix this?

It is likely you haven’t ticked the necessary boxes on the form to progress to the next page. If you cannot see the boxes, try turning up your screen brightness and then select the whole text on the page. The different contrast can help show where the boxes are. Viewing the screen from a slight tilt can also help.

If you are still having trouble progressing your application, please contact the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15 during operating hours.

My business was not directly impacted by the floods, but I cannot operate my business as usual. Am I eligible for funding under this program?

No. Funds must be used to cover repair or replacement expenses specifically caused by direct flood damage to a place of business, business assets, stock or equipment. Loss of business activities are not covered under the program.

You may be eligible for emergency support payments through the Commonwealth Government. These include one-off payments and income support. Check the Services Australia website for details and eligibility.

How do I access the Business Relief Advisers?

The Business Relief Service is a free service offering one-on-one support from a local business relief adviser who will be available via telephone and on the ground to guide business owners through the available Commonwealth, state and local supports. They can also help you manage insurance and landlord issues, assess impacts and form strategies for recovery.

To access the Business Relief Service, please call the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15 during operating hours and they will connect you with dedicated business relief advisers and support.

If you require a translator, please let the operator know and they will call the Translating and Interpreting Service for you.

Questions about eligibility

Who is eligible for the Small Business Immediate Flood Relief Program?

To be eligible for a grant, your business must:

  • be located within a local government area deemed eligible for assistance under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangement
  • hold an active Australian business number (ABN) and have held that ABN on and from 14 October 2022
  • be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) on and from 14 October 2022
  • have incurred significant direct damage from flooding to the place of business, business assets, stock or equipment.

I’m not sure if my business is classified as a small business. Can I apply?

All businesses that have flood damage to their place of business, business assets, stock or equipment are encouraged to apply.

The program was established to assist eligible businesses that were directly affected by flood damage from the Victorian floods beginning in October 2022. The program offers grants of $5000 to eligible businesses, including employing and non-employing businesses.

Disruptions to cashflow can be particularly challenging for a small business – these funds assist to start the recovery process.

Do I need to be registered for GST to be eligible for a grant?

You must be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) on and from 14 October 2022 to be eligible for a grant under this program.

A business must register for GST when it has an annual turnover (gross income minus GST) of $75,000 or more.

Businesses that backdate their GST registration date will not be eligible. You may be eligible for emergency support payments through the Commonwealth Government.

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 an annual 2021-2022 turnover of $75,000 or more that are not required by relevant taxation legislation to be registered for GST are eligible to apply. They must attest to their exemption when they apply. A statutory declaration from a registered tax agent may be required.

More information on whether you need to register for GST is available on the Australian Taxation Office website.

I am not registered for GST. If I register now and backdate the registration, can I apply?

No. You must be registered for GST on and from 14 October 2022 to be eligible for this program.

A business must register for GST when it has an annual turnover (gross income minus GST) of $75,000 or more.

Businesses that backdate their GST registration date will not be eligible. You may be eligible for emergency support payments through the Commonwealth Government.

I am not required to be registered for GST because my annual turnover is not over $75,000. Can I apply?

No, you must be registered for GST on and from Friday 14 October 2022 and meet all the other eligibility criteria to receive a grant under this program unless you are exempt.

You may be exempt from registering for GST if you are a:

  • 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 2021-22 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.

You may be eligible for emergency support payments through the Commonwealth Government.

My business has multiple premises and more than one has been affected by the floods. Can I apply for a payment for each location?

No. A business, as defined by its Australian Business Number (ABN), can only receive one grant under this program.

If you have multiple businesses under different ABNs and more than one has been affected by the floods, you can apply for one grant per ABN.

My ABN is registered in another state, but I have a business location in a Victorian flood affected area. Can I apply?

Yes. Please ensure that your ABN information listed with the Australian Business Register (ABR) is current and accurate at the time of application, including all business locations. Business locations within Victoria must be registered with the ABR on and from 14 October 2022 and cannot be backdated.

Business locations outside of Victoria are not eligible for funding under this program.

My business' registered address is not in an eligible local government area (LGA), but part of my business, for instance a warehouse, is located within an eligible LGA. Can I apply?

Yes, your business can apply. The business location that incurred the damage can be different to your business’ registered address. However, your business’ registered address must be located in Victoria on and from 14 October 2022.

One of my organisation’s properties or assets is located within a defined flood affected area, but my organisation’s primary location is not in a defined flood affected area. Can I still apply?

Yes, you may apply if your organisation’s location is registered in Victoria on and from 14 October 2022 and the property, assets, stock or equipment have suffered direct flood damage in a defined flood affected area. For example, your business has its headquarters located in metropolitan Melbourne but you have a shopfront in a regional town affected by floods.

We will verify your organisation’s information with partner agencies, including the Australian Business Register (ABR) to check all locations listed for your business and confirm that the property, assets, stock or equipment that suffered flood damage is located within a local government area deemed eligible for assistance under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangement.

I’m not sure if I am eligible, how do I find out?

Please refer to the Program Guidelines for eligibility criteria.

If you are still unsure whether you are eligible, please contact us for support by emailing info@business.vic.gov.au or calling the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15 during operational hours for assistance.

I've applied for the Disaster Recovery Payment or the Disaster Recovery Allowance. Can I also apply for this grant?

Yes. If your business has incurred significant direct flood damage due to the Victorian floods beginning in October 2022 and is otherwise eligible under the Program Guidelines, you can also apply for a grant under this program.

Questions about evidence and documentation

Which identification documents should I submit with my application?

The business owner or an authorised person for your business can apply for a grant on behalf of your business. The person lodging the application must be identified on the Australian Business Register (ABR) as either the owner, co-owner, associate or authorised contact of your business.

To confirm the identity of the business owner or authorised person as listed on the ABR, one of the following current proof of identity documents must be provided:

  • Victorian driver license or learner permit
  • Australian passport
  • Medicare card
  • 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

I am having difficulty submitting my identity document. Can I send it by email?

No, due to privacy laws we are unable to accept proof of identify documents emailed to the department. If you are having difficulty and need any assistance completing your application, please call the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15 during operational hours.

If you require a translator, please let the operator know and they will call the Translating and Interpreting Service for you.

I have lost or cannot access my identity documents due to the floods. What should I do?

If you have a copy or photo of proof of identity documents, you can use it in the application form.

You can also access your digital Medicare card via your myGov account to confirm your identity as part of the application. For more information, see: How to get a digital card

If you cannot access copies of your proof of identity documents or your digital Medicare card, please email info@business.vic.gov.au or call the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15 during operational hours. If you require a translator, please let the operator know and they will call the Translating and Interpreting Service for you.

Questions about the application process

Who can apply?

The business owner or an authorised person for that business can apply for a grant on behalf of your business. The applicant must be listed on the Australian Business Register (ABR) as either the owner, co-owner, associate or authorised contact of your business.

Somebody else, such as an accountant, can apply on behalf of your business if they are listed on the ABR as an authorised contact for your business.

How do I apply?

Applications must be submitted online through the Small Business Immediate Flood Relief Program page. Please ensure all questions in the application are completed and the requested information is provided for timely assessment and payment.

Applications for this program will close at 4pm on Tuesday 7 February 2023 or earlier if funds are exhausted. Applications will be assessed on a first-in, first-served basis.

How are applications assessed?

Funding will be allocated through a grant application process on a first-in, first-served basis until the close date or when available funds are fully allocated, whichever comes first.

Each application will be carefully considered and assessed against the eligibility criteria and program guidelines.

The following circumstances may be considered when assessing applications:

  • any adverse findings by a government agency or local council regarding your business or its operation
  • your business is, or notice has been given that it will be, placed under external administration
  • a petition for bankruptcy or to wind up or deregister your company or business
  • your business is or becomes deregistered or unregistered (including cancellation or lapse in registration or any relevant permit).

Only final applications that are lodged with the department will be considered and assessed. Applications in draft stage will not be considered.

The department’s decision on all matters pertaining to the award of funding under this program is at the department’s absolute discretion.

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, the department will endeavour to provide you with notifications on the progress of your application.

If you are unable to access the Business Victoria Grants Portal, please contact us on 13 22 15.

What do you mean by a ‘business day’?

Business days refer to Monday to Friday AEDT, and exclude Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays.

I've applied for another Victorian flood relief program, can I also apply for this one?

Businesses will not be eligible to receive funding under this program if they have received support under the:

If you submit applications to multiple programs and are found to be eligible under more than one program, you will only receive one grant. Please note that applying for multiple programs may result in delays to application processing and receiving your grant payment.

When will I receive an outcome?

We will endeavour to notify applicants of a successful outcome within 10 business days.

For the purposes of this program, business days are Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.

If somebody else applied on your behalf, they will be notified of the outcome of your application. If you submitted the application yourself, you will be notified directly.

It may take longer to notify 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
  • includes 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 or Australian Business Register
  • is submitted during the summer holiday period (between 23 December 2022 and 6 January 2023).

My application was unsuccessful. Can I contest this?

If your application was unsuccessful and you believe that it has been incorrectly assessed, you can lodge a complaint with Business Victoria.

The complaint must be received within 60 days from the date the department notifies the applicant of the outcome of the grant application. If a complaint is not received within 60 days, the decision will be final.

Will I be subject to an audit?

Applicants may be subject to audit by the Victorian Government or its representatives for a period of four years from receipt of payment.

You are required to keep the evidence of how the grant payment was spent.

If any information in the application is found to be false or misleading, or the grant payment is not applied for the purposes of your business in accordance with the terms of funding as set out in the program guidelines and the application, the grant payment will be repayable on demand.

When and how will the grant be paid to my business?

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

If you believe you entered incorrect bank details, please email info@business.vic.gov.au or call the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15 during operational hours.

How will the department use my data?

Information provided for this program will be used by the department for the purposes of assessing eligibility, program administration and program review. Any personal information about yourself or someone applying on your behalf will be collected, held, managed, used, disclosed or transferred in accordance with the provisions of the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) and other applicable laws.

If you have any questions about the privacy of your personal information and the department’s privacy policy, you can contact the department’s Privacy Unit at: privacy@ecodev.vic.gov.au