More relief for VIC businesses affected by lockdowns in FY 2020-2021

Owners and managers of businesses in Victoria should check eligibility for lockdown relief payments and take full advantage of any assistance available in the 2020-2021 financial year and beyond. Some grants and programs are available from the Victorian government ongoingly while others close around EOFY 2020-2021.

It goes without saying that the numerous lockdown periods in Melbourne and greater Victoria have caused more stress and disruption in people’s lives than suffered in any other Australian state. While the negative impacts on affected businesses cannot be reversed, the Victorian state government has at least offered some assistance in the form of numerous grants and programs that are exclusively available to help businesses in Victoria.

The Victorian government assistance offers are location-based, with some packages available to any business in the state of Victoria and others just for businesses within the city of Melbourne or only in areas. Some assistance packages are time-limited while others are set to continue indefinitely for the time being.

Here is an outline of some of the state government assistance offers available with a closing date on or beyond 30 June 2021:

Jobs Victoria Fund – all locations, ongoing

Jobs Victoria wage subsidies of up to $20,000 are available for eligible employers who hire eligible jobseekers. Wage subsidies can be used to meet the costs of taking on new employees for the first 12 months of employment. You can apply for a wage subsidy for up to 20 full-time equivalent employees depending on the size of your business. At least 60% of jobs supported by the Jobs Victoria Fund will be for women, reflecting the significant impact the pandemic has had on their employment opportunities. To qualify for the subsidy, you must employ someone from at least one of the priority groups. Talk to us about your human resourcing needs and how your recruitment program could be supported by the Jobs Victoria Fund.

Manufacturing and Industry Development Fund – all locations, ongoing

The Victorian Manufacturing and Industry Development Fund is intended to help build Victoria’s sovereign manufacturing capability by providing grant support to Victorian businesses in key growth sectors of the state with $60 million worth of assistance being offered over three years. The Fund was devised in order to support the creation of around 1,000 new jobs in its first year, helping to drive Victorian economic recovery and ensure that Victorian industry remains sustainable and can continue to thrive into the future.

Under this Fund, the Business Competitiveness Program is offered to assist eligible small and medium-sized Victorian manufacturing businesses to expand their operations and implement new adaptive manufacturing technologies and processes. Grants of up to 33% of eligible project expenditure, up to a maximum grant amount of $500,000, will be allocated on a competitive basis for projects to be completed within 18 months of receiving the grant. Eligible projects include the purchase and commissioning of capital equipment, manufacturing product and process improvements, prototyping, evaluation and testing of new products and processes, and supply chain capability development.

The initial round of applications closes on 20 June 2021 and a second program will be launched in the coming months. Talk to us to know more about what’s available under this scheme and how your business might qualify.

On-Farm Energy Tier 1 Grants – regional, closing 15 December 2021

On-Farm Energy Tier 1 Grants are available to eligible primary producers until 15 December 2021. The Tier 1 grants will support farmers to replace energy inefficient equipment, install more energy-efficient systems and enable own-generation capacity. The grants support projects that will increase energy efficiency which may reduce energy costs and boost productivity, such as the purchase and installation of capital equipment that improves the energy efficiency and energy productivity of the applicant’s eligible farm business activities. There are conditions on eligibility, and a prerequisite step before making any grant application, so if you think your project might qualify, you might want to talk with us before going ahead with your plans.

COVIDSafe Deep Cleaning Rebate – all locations, closing 30 June 2021

The COVIDSafe Deep Cleaning Rebate is available for small and medium-sized businesses, where anyone suspected or confirmed to have coronavirus (COVID-19) has been on the premises or worksite when they may have been infectious.

The rebate is intended to help eligible businesses cover the cost of hiring professional cleaning services to conduct a ‘deep clean’ or ‘decontamination clean’ of their premises or worksite. This will help businesses prevent further transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19), and reduce their out-of-pocket cleaning expenses.

The rebate will cover up to 80 per cent of the cleaning costs at each worksite, capped at a grant of $10,000 (for a total cleaning cost of $12,500). Businesses that have received funding from other initiatives under the Victorian Government’s Economic Survival Package and Business Support Package are still eligible to apply for this program.


Understanding the assistance currently available to your business is the first step to being able to access assistance. Talk to Geoff Morris at Billings+Ellis about how your business could benefit from any government initiatives.

Questions about VIC lockdown relief ?