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As promised on Friday, here are further details of support packages available to tourism operators.
The return to Stage 3 lockdown for Melbourne, and Mitchell Shire, was a kick in the bum that none of us needed. It’s a shame that it has got to this point, but here we are. Again.
Daylesford Macedon Tourism will be doing some marketing activity targeting regional Victorians, enticing them to the region, and in addition to this, the Government’s package also includes a marketing campaign to boost ‘region to region’ visitation during this lockdown.
To recap, here are the stay at home directions.
The Regional Tourism Accommodation Support Program supports the cost of cancellations caused by the current restrictions. Only accommodation providers, such as motels, caravan parks and short-term rentals, with an ABN, that have been affected by booking cancellations because of the restrictions and border closures, are eligible. Businesses will be able to claim up to $225 per booking, per night up to a maximum of $1125, provided they refund any money paid against the booking in full. If payment had not been made, you are still eligible for support. You must be able to show that a booking was made prior to last Wednesday’s announcement, and the cancellation took place after the announcement. Applications for the Regional Tourism Accommodation Support Program are now open and will remain so until the end of the current Stage 3 ‘Stay at Home’ restrictions or until the fund is exhausted. You MUST register your interest on the link above to be eligible.
To all non-accommodation businesses: we are making enquiries as to whether support might be extended to other sectors, such a ‘product’ e.g. day spas, retail, etc.
There is also a $40m Night-time Economy Business Support Initiative, aimed at clubs, pubs and restaurants. The fund will provide commercial rental relief for licensed businesses impacted by Covid, who aren’t covered by the Commercial Tenancies Relief Scheme. Again, you need to register your interest via the link above.
The expanded Business Support Fund is only available to businesses located in Mitchell Shire and Melbourne. We have a few businesses in the eastern part of our region (such as Tooborac) that might avail themselves of this support.
Small to medium businesses will also receive targeted support as part of the Business Advisory and Wellbeing Program which includes a $26 million investment in mental health support for Victorians dealing with the compounding challenges of running a small business in this challenging environment. More information on this is coming soon. In the meantime, if you’re struggling mentally or emotionally, there are a range of mental health resources on the DHHS website to help. This ‘second whack’ as I call it has really knocked people around, after a few very promising weeks, so please look after yourselves and each other.
Things will get better.
Steve and the DMT Team