Program overview

The Ventilation Grant enables eligible public-facing businesses to invest in large projects to improve ventilation, such as building works, engaging professional services or purchasing equipment. Grant funding will be matched dollar for dollar with the business, between $1000 and $5000.

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.

You can apply in two ways.

  1. If you already have evidence of eligible expenditure purchased from 1 January 2022, such as receipts and paid invoices, submit evidence of eligible expenditure when applying.
  2. Alternatively, you can apply by proposing a ventilation project, with grant funds to be paid at a later date once eligible items have been purchased and evidence of expenditure has been submitted (by 15 November 2022).

Examples of eligible program expenditure may 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
  • 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.

A business that operates in more than one premises under its ABN may apply for a grant for each location. A separate application is required for each location.

Small Business Ventilation Program – Ventilation Grant closed for applications on Friday 24 June 2022.

Key dates

The program closed at 11:59pm Friday 24 June 2022.

Grants will cover eligible expenditure purchased between 1 January 2022 and 15 November 2022. The evidence of the expenditure must be submitted by 15 November 2022.

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.

Program guidelines

Small Business Ventilation Grant Guidelines (PDF 338.59 KB)PDF icon

Small Business Ventilation Grant Guidelines (DOCX 1589.32 KB)DOCX icon

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Read the full list of FAQs.

Who can apply for this grant?

To be eligible for a grant, your business must:

  1. be an employing business that operates from a Victorian fixed address commercial premises that is physically open to the public for in-person purchases or the use of the business’s products and services
  2. hold an active Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN on and from 18 February 2022
  3. be registered with the responsible Federal or State regulator
  4. be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) on and from 18 February 2022
  5. have annual Victorian payroll below $10 million for the 2020-21 financial year on an ungrouped basis as determined by the State Revenue Office (SRO)
  6. be registered with WorkSafe Victoria
  7. hold public liability insurance sufficient to cover its operations.

Tenants wishing to apply must ensure that they obtain any required consents where necessary from their landlord before undertaking work.

You should check your eligibility for both before deciding to apply.

If you have questions about the program or a submitted application, please read the frequently asked questions (FAQs) or call the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15.

Grant amount

Grant funding of up to $5000 per premises is available for eligible projects.

Applicants can request a grant amount of between $1000 and $5000 to cover part of the costs of a eligible expenditure.

For every $1 of grant funding, the applicant must show $1 of expenditure of their own funds. This means a business must spend a minimum of $1000 of their own funds on an eligible project to receive a $1000 government grant, and the total project must cost at least $2000 (ex GST).

The funds may be used to assist with:

  • 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.

Grants will be allocated on a first-in basis to applicants assessed as eligible until the available funding is fully allocated.

What do I need to do?

  1. Read the Small Business Ventilation Guide.
  2. Assess the publicly accessible rooms or spaces in your workplace to identify opportunities to improve ventilation.
  3. 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).
  4. There are two ways to apply for a Ventilation Grant:
    1. purchase equipment, undertake works and/or seek professional advice that will improve ventilation which is appropriate for your circumstance and business activities OR
    2. prepare ventilation project proposal if the funds will be spent after 24 June 2022. Evidence of eligible expenditure must be provided by 15 November 2022.
  5. Apply online by 24 June 2022.

How to apply

Small Business Ventilation Program – Ventilation Grant closed for applications on Friday 24 June 2022.

Please read all the information on this page, including program guidelines and frequently asked questions (FAQs) before submitting your application.

A business that operates more than one premises under its ABN may apply for a grant for each location. A separate application is required for each location.

Each location must be a Victorian fixed address commercial premises that is physically open to the public for in-person purchases or use of the business’s products and services.

Your business can only receive one grant per premises.

How the Grant may be used

Business owners are encouraged to read the Small Business Ventilation Guide before applying and must make their own judgement and take decisions about optimising air flow from outside and ventilation appropriate for their business. This may involve seeking professional advice before committing to a purchase.

The Victorian Government is not responsible or liable for the purchasing decision of your business, nor any loss or damage whatsoever arising from or in connection with the purchase or works which are the subject of a grant.

The following are examples of types of eligible expenditure:

Natural ventilation

  • 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.

Mechanical ventilation

  • purchase and installation of spare parts to ensure the existing ventilation system operates effectively.
  • upgrading or replacing filters in a ventilation system, such as installing a HEPA filter capable of 4-6 Air Changes per hour (ACH).
  • Repairs, servicing or cleaning of an existing heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system or air conditioning unit.

Augmented ventilation

  • purchasing an air purifier using a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter for the premises.

Other measures

  • 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.
  • whirlybirds or extractor fans to enhance the effects of other ventilation strategies.
  • electric fans to promote air movement if there are existing ventilation strategies in place.
  • wall mounted split systems and cassette units that do not have a function to bring fresh air into a space are only eligible if they are used in conjunction with other natural and mechanical ventilation.

What activities would not be considered for a grant?

The grant payment cannot be used for the following expense types:

  • expenditure incurred prior to 1 January 2022
  • works where the primary intention is not to maximise air ventilation or purification in public facing business spaces
  • project components that are not related to the improvement of natural, mechanical or augmented ventilation
  • exhaust/ventilation works in non-customer areas (e.g. kitchen spaces in a non-public facing area)
  • equipment using ultraviolet (UV) radiation technology and air ionisation devices
  • where relevant, works where recipients did not receive necessary building or planning permits, permission from the building owner and/or landlord before completing the project
  • where relevant, expenditure that does not comply with local council and state government laws and regulations
  • business operating expenses
  • running costs of equipment, including but not limited to energy costs
  • costs associated with obtaining quotes, where the work has not been contracted with the quote provider (e.g. call out fee)
  • a project delivered by a provider not qualified as a licensed service provider to undertake the contracted services
  • electrical installation work undertaken without a certificate of electrical safety or compliance report where applicable – as demonstration of compliance to electrical standards, occupational health and safety requirements
  • equipment that is not compliant with Australian standards
  • loss of income due to premise’s inability to operate as normal whilst the work is being undertaken
  • expenses paid for using any funding received under the Small Business Ventilation Program – Ventilation Rebate.

Documentation or evidence required with an application

The business owner or an authorised person for that business can apply for a grant on behalf of your business. This individual must be listed 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:

  • a driver license or learner permit issued in any Australian jurisdiction
  • an Australian Passport
  • a Medicare Card
  • a foreign passport for those issued with an Australian Visa.

Evidence of eligible expenditure

Funding under this stream will be matched dollar for dollar between $1000 and $5000. This means, to receive funding, you must provide evidence of eligible expenditure for at least $2000 (ex GST).

There are two ways to apply for funding.

If you are providing evidence of eligible expenditure at the time of application:

For eligible expenditure item/s already purchased (from 1 January 2022), evidence includes:

  • an invoice or receipt paid in full clearly specifying the date, cost, supplier name and invoice number for an eligible expenditure item. (i.e. air purifier).

If the expenditure has not yet occurred at the time of application:

As part of the application, you must provide an appropriate ventilation project proposal (and quote if available) if the expenditure has not yet occurred or evidence of eligible expenditure if the item has already been purchased.

For eligible expenditure item/s that have not yet been purchased, you must:

  • provide a ventilation project proposal with an estimation of total project cost. If available, a quote can be provided to support the ventilation project proposal
  • if successful, applicants will be sent a claim form at a later date to provide evidence of eligible expenditure.  Submission of evidence must be completed by 15 November 2022.

Tax invoices must clearly include the required information as described on the Australian Taxation Office website.

More information

The Victorian Government is not responsible or liable for the purchasing decision of your business, nor any loss or damage whatsoever arising from or in connection with the purchase or works which are the subject of a grant.

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.

For information on other support and resources see Grants and programs.