Firstly a big hello from me on my first day filling in for Steve. It is a real pleasure and privilege to be working with the DMT team and you all in these unique times.
The first bit of good news is that we heard from the Premier yesterday that the Business Cost Assistance Program and Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund have been extended throughout the month of September. I’m sure many of you are aware of the strong lobbying that has occurred in the background for this to continue until we see travel restrictions lifted from our major source market of Melbourne.
Eligible businesses include hospitality and accommodation operations, gyms, hair and nail salons, and tourism and events-related businesses. The full list of eligible ANZSIC codes for the Business Costs Assistance Program in regional Victoria is now available on the Business Victoria website.
Under the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Four, businesses with an annual payroll of up to $650,000 will receive $5,600 – equal to two weekly payments of $2,800. Businesses with a payroll of $650,000-$3 million will get $11,200 and businesses with a wages bill of $3 million-$10 million will receive $16,800.
The Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund has also been extended for eligible businesses such as licensed bars, cafes, hotels, and clubs across regional Victoria and other businesses where ongoing restrictions severely affect operations. Payments to businesses will range from $5,600 to $40,000 for the fortnight to help pay wages, rent, utilities, and other ongoing expenses. In recognition of ongoing patron and density limits, Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund payments will be made across the state for the period 17-30 September, regardless of location.
The Victorian Government has announced the modest easing of restrictions across Victoria and changes to construction industry settings. A summary of the changes for regional Victoria is outlined below. For a detailed overview, see the Table of Restrictions.
Restriction changes for regional Victoria (excluding the City of Ballarat)
From 11.59 pm Friday 17 September:
- Tour buses can operate with up to 10 people.
- Gyms, outdoor and indoor pools (excluding spas, saunas, and steam rooms) will reopen with limits, and hydrotherapy and swimming lessons can occur.
We expect an announcement from the Premier shortly about the roadmap to recovery. We all need that light at the end of the tunnel. I hope to update you next week once this has been announced.
So while it is some good news in the short term, we will continue to advocate for ongoing support for our industry as we progress down the path to recovery. Speaking of recovery, I’ve been warmed to hear many of your well wishes for Steve as he goes under the knife today. I’II keep you updated on his recovery progress.
Until the next update, take care.