The Small Business Ventilation Program is now closed for applications.
If you are directly impacted by the Victorian floods that commenced in October 2022, you can access support through the Small Business Immediate Flood Relief Program and may be eligible for a grant.
The $60 million Small Business Ventilation Program helps eligible public-facing small businesses to improve building ventilation in areas accessible to customers and reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Improving ventilation helps reduce the spread of COVID-19 and provides customers with the confidence that businesses are doing everything they can to keep them safe.
Under the program, two types of support will be available:
- Ventilation Rebate – A $500 rebate for public-facing small businesses to undertake immediate actions such as purchasing equipment or hiring a qualified tradesperson to undertake minor services to improve ventilation in areas accessible to customers.
- Ventilation Grant – Matched grants of $1000 to $5000 to enable public-facing small businesses who employ staff to invest in larger projects such as building works, engaging professional services or equipment to improve ventilation in areas accessible to customers.
A business can apply for both a Ventilation Rebate and a Ventilation Grant. The submitted applications can request funds for the same ventilation project, however the funds must not be allocated to the same eligible expenditure item.
If you previously applied for a Ventilation Rebate or Ventilation Grant and were successful, you cannot apply again under the same stream for the same business (Ventilation Rebate) or the same premises (Ventilation Grant). For example, if you have received the $500 Ventilation Rebate, you cannot apply for the rebate again, even with new expenditure. If eligible, you could apply for a Ventilation Grant.
Applications for the Small Business Ventilation Program – Ventilation Grant and Ventilation Rebate are now closed.
Why is ventilation important?
Good ventilation is important because COVID-19 is airborne and primarily spread between people breathing in very small droplets or aerosols containing the virus. The risk of aerosol transmission is higher in a poorly ventilated space because fine aerosol spray from an infected person can remain circulating, linger and spread more easily.
The Victorian Government has released a Small Business Ventilation Guide to help businesses improve ventilation and reduce the spread of COVID-19 by encouraging air flow from outside. Business owners are encouraged to read this guide before applying.
Types of air ventilation and how they can be improved:
- Natural ventilation – brings air from outside through and around an indoor occupied space, or to make airflow improvements to a covered outdoor space used by customers
- Mechanical ventilation – uses mechanical equipment to increase airflow by replacing or diluting indoor air with outside air
- Augmented ventilation – uses portable filtration units to catch particles in a filter to increase the clean air delivery rate and reduce the concentration of viral particles in the air.
Business owners must use their judgement and make decisions that are appropriate for their business to improve ventilation and air quality. This may involve seeking professional advice before committing to a purchase.
Ventilation Grant guidelines
Ventilation Rebate guidelines
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Read the full list of FAQs for the Ventilation Grant.
Read the full list of FAQs for the Ventilation Rebate.
Who can apply for this program?
Businesses should check eligibility for a grant and/or rebate before deciding to apply.
What do I need to do?
- Read the Small Business Ventilation Guide.
- Assess the publicly accessible rooms or spaces in your workplace to identify opportunities to improve ventilation.
- Review the eligibility criteria for the program, decide what improvements you will make to your business and determine whether you will apply for the Ventilation Rebate or a Ventilation Grant (or both).
- If applying for the Ventilation Rebate – purchase equipment, undertake works and/or seek professional advice that will improve ventilation which is appropriate for your circumstance and business activities.
- If applying for a Ventilation Grant
- purchase equipment, undertake works and/or seek professional advice that will improve ventilation which is appropriate for your circumstance and business activities OR
- prepare ventilation project proposal if the funds will be spent after 8 September 2022. Evidence of eligible expenditure must be provided by 15 November 2022.
- Submit an online application by 8 September 2022.
How the funding may be used
Examples of eligible expenditure include:
- works to the building to maximise ventilation, for example fixing windows to ensure they open or adding additional windows or doors to create greater air flow
- purchase and installation of spare parts to ensure the existing ventilation system operates effectively
- repairs, servicing or cleaning of an existing heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system or air conditioning unit to improve air flow
- purchasing an air purifier using a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter for the premises
- inspection by a qualified professional service provider for the purpose of a ventilation audit, HVAC health check or assistance with items identified in the self-assessment ventilation guidance.
- equipment and works that improve air ventilation and/or purification for the installation, upgrade, maintenance and repair of building infrastructure and ventilation systems
- direct costs to deliver the ventilation project such as labour, regulatory approvals or cost of building modification directly related to and required to accommodate the ventilation project proposal.
Applications for the Small Business Ventilation Program closed at 11:00pm on Thursday 8 September 2022.
How to apply
The Victorian Government is not responsible or liable for the purchasing decision of a business, nor any loss or damage whatsoever arising from or in connection with the purchase or works which are the subject of a rebate.
Refer to the COVID-19 ventilation principles and strategies for further guidance on reducing aerosol transmission.
For further assistance, please contact call the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15. If you require a translator, please let the operator know and they will call the Translating and Interpreting Service for you.
For information on other support and resources see Grants and programs.