Victorian Government announces unprecedented $3 billion support for businesses

Victorian Government announces unprecedented $3 billion support for businesses

The Victorian Government has announced an unprecedented $3 billion in cash grants, tax relief and cashflow support for businesses.

In what Premier Daniel Andrews described as “the biggest package of business support in the history of this state”, more than $1 billion of that funding will support small and medium sized businesses that are most affected by the restrictions.

“It needs to be unprecedented in nature because the challenge that businesses large and small face is equally,” he said on Sunday.

“We want to get to the other side and we want to make sure that, yes, we’ve protected lives, but we’ve also protected livelihoods.

“This is very, very significant, but it’s what’s needed.”

Mr Andrews said he would brief Prime Minister Scott Morrison on the details of the plan this afternoon.

The plan will include $251 million to support bars, restaurants, pubs, clubs, hotels and reception centres through a Licenced Venue Fund.

There will also be grants of up to $20,000 available to businesses in alpine resorts, to help make up for restrictions that have prevented visitors to the ski fields.

Mr Andrews also confirmed the state of emergency that has been declared in Victoria will continue for an extra four weeks.

The state recorded 41 new virus cases on Sunday and seven new deaths.

It comes after Victoria recorded its lowest number in three months a day earlier.

Strict lockdown measures were originally drafted to ease today, however the date has been pushed back to September 28 at the earliest.

However, some minor easing of restrictions will kick in from tonight.

The curfew that applies to metro Melbourne will be pushed from 8pm to 9pm, and Melburnians will be allowed to leave their homes for two hours each day – up from the previous one.