Small Business COVID Hardship Fund

The Victorian Government’s Small Business COVID Hardship Fund assists small to medium businesses:

  • Whose operations have been severely impacted by COVID restrictions that have been in place between 27 May 2021 and August 2021 (COVID-19 restrictions)
  • Have experienced at least a 70 per cent reduction in turnover as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions
  • Are ineligible for other key COVID-19 Victorian Government business grant programs that have been announced since 27 May 2021.

How much can you apply for?

Eligible businesses will receive a grant of $10,000.

Is your business eligible?

 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.

What can the grant be used for?

Grant funds must be used to assist the business, for example on:

  • Meeting business costs, including utilities, wages or rent;
  • Seeking financial, legal or other advice to support business continuity planning;
  • Developing the business through marketing and communications activities; or
  • Any other supporting activities related to the operation of the business.

 When do you have to apply by?

 The Program will be open for applications until program funds are exhausted or 11.59 pm Friday 10 September 2021, whichever is earlier.

What documentation is required?

  • Endorsement of the reduction in turnover by a qualified agent (qualified accountant, registered tax agent or registered BAS 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)

How to apply?

 You can choose to apply for this program in one of three ways:

  1. A qualified agent (qualified accountant, registered tax agent or registered BAS agent) can apply on your behalf and verify the 70% drop in business turnover as part of the application. The qualified agent needs to attest that they are authorised to apply on your behalf.
  2. You can apply directly as a business owner and have the application verified by a qualified agent (qualified accountant, registered tax agent or registered BAS agent).
  3. Business owners who do not have access to a qualified accountant, registered tax agent or registered BAS agent can register their interest for the program. Applicants may receive an Invitation to Apply email from the department. Applications received via the Invitation to Apply process may take up to 25 business days to process, due to the need for additional verification measures.

If you wish to apply, discuss eligibility, or see how this grant can best benefit your business, please do not hesitate to contact our office on 1300 620 345.