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 Ventilation Rebate provides 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.
Only one application is permitted per ABN. Applicants must submit separate applications for each of their businesses that operate under different ABNs.
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.
Applications for the Small Business Ventilation Program – Ventilation Rebate have 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.
Small Business Ventilation Rebate Guidelines (PDF 339.78 KB)
Small Business Ventilation Rebate Guidelines (DOCX 1601.48 KB)
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Who can apply for this rebate?
To be eligible for a rebate a business must:
- operate from 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
- hold an active Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN on and from 18 February 2022
- be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) on and from 18 February 2022
- have an annual Victorian payroll below $10 million for the 2020-21 financial year on an ungrouped basis as determined by the State Revenue Office (SRO)
- hold public liability insurance sufficient to cover its operations.
You should check your eligibility before deciding to apply.
If you have questions about your application, please read the frequently asked questions (FAQs) or 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.
Successful applicants will receive a rebate of $500, which is a contribution towards the business’s preferred ventilation improvement project. A business must spend at least $500 (ex GST) or more on eligible expenditure to receive the $500 rebate.
A business (as defined by its ABN) can only claim one $500 rebate under this stream of the Small Business Ventilation Program.
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 strategy.
Rebates will be allocated on a first-in basis to applicants assessed as eligible until the program’s available funding is fully allocated.
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).
- To apply for the Ventilation Rebate, take the appropriate steps to purchase equipment, undertake works and/or seek professional advice that will improve ventilation which is appropriate for your circumstance and business activities.
- Apply online by Thursday 8 September 2022.
How to apply
The Small Business Ventilation Program – Ventilation Rebate is closed.
If you have any questions about a submitted application, please read all the information on this page, including program guidelines and frequently asked questions (FAQs).
Only one application is permitted per ABN under this stream. Applicants must submit separate applications for each of their businesses that operate under different ABNs.
How the rebate may be used
You are encouraged to read the Small Business Ventilation Guide. Business owners 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 a 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:
- 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,
- 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.
- 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,
- 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 rebate?
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-facing 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 applicable, 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)
- 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 the funding received under the Small Business Ventilation Program – Ventilation Grant.
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 the business. This individual must be listed on the Australian Business Register (ABR) as either the owner, co-owner, associate or authorised contact of the 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 licence 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
Applicants must provide the evidence of purchase with proof of payment, such as dated receipts or invoices paid in full verifying that they have spent at least $500 (ex GST) or more on eligible expenditure between 1 January 2022 and 8 September 2022.
Tax invoices must clearly include the required information as described on the Australian Taxation Office website.
This program closed at 11:00pm on Thursday 8 September 2022.
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.