Eligible businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria can now apply for grants through Business Support Fund – Expansion, with the state government announcing additional payments in light of re-imposed restrictions.

Previous applicants don’t need to re-apply for the additional payments. Eligible businesses that received or applied for the initial $5,000 grants, will have their payments processed automatically.

The first batch of these additional payments to metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire were issued on Monday 10 August. Applications for regional Victorian businesses opened on Friday 7 August.

The Business Support Fund extension means businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire could receive $20,000 and regional businesses up to $15,000.

Through the fund one-off grants, $5,000 is available to businesses with staff in regional LGAs except Mitchell Shire and $10,000 is available for employing businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire.

Additionally, some  eligible businesses who received grants through the Business Support Fund – Expansion will be invited to apply for the CBD Small Business Hospitality Grant, which provides a further one-off grant of either $5,000 for CBD-located foodservice businesses with a capacity of 11 to 100 seats or $15,000 for CBD-located foodservice businesses with a capacity of 101 or more seats. Businesses with 10 or fewer seats are not eligible.

A Hospitality Business Grant Program has also been established and will provide eligible businesses with a one-off, $25,000 grant to help cover costs acquired during the continued operation of business. Businesses with multiple premises within metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire can apply for an additional $5,000 per venue, capped at a total of $20,000. Businesses who have received funds through the Business Support Fund – Expansion are not eligible for these funds. 

According to the Victorian government, 77,600 eligible businesses received $776 million in the first round of the Business Support Fund. 

Mental health support for business owners and employees

The details of a $26 million program addressing mental health needs of Victorian business owners and workers have been announced.

The program aims to provide support to sole traders, small and medium business owners and their employees struggling with the burden of COVID restrictions. 

The delivery of new services will begin this month, including accredited mental health support training provided by St John Ambulance to chambers of commerce across Victoria; mental health specialists embedded in industry and business associations; and the extension of the Partners in Wellbeing telephone hotline’s operation hours to 10pm seven days a week. 

The Partners in Wellbeing mental health support hotline is 1300 375 330. 

If you, or someone you know is struggling help is available, please contact 

Lifeline on 13 11 14

Headspace on 1800 650 890

Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636

Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467

Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800

MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978

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