External grants and support

A number of State and Federal Government Grants are open to businesses, sole traders and employers affected by COVID-19

Business Support Fund The Victorian Government has launched the $500 million Business Support Fund to support small businesses in the sectors hit hardest by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic so they can survive and keep people in work. Eligible businesses can apply for a one-off $10,000 grant which can be used towards costs such as utilities, rent and salaries, and activities to support business continuity planning. Applications close on Monday 1 June 2020.

Sole traders may be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment if their turnover has reduced. Following registration by the eligible business, the Government will provide $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee for a maximum of 6 months. This will support sole traders to maintain their income and connection with employees.

Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by the coronavirus will be able to access a subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees. Affected employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of 6 months.

Increased and accelerated income support The Government is temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. This supplement will be paid to both existing and new recipients of the eligible payment categories. These changes will apply for the next six months.

Assistance to help pay the wages of apprentices or trainees Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage paid during the 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. Where a small business is not able to retain an apprentice, the subsidy will be available to a new employer. Employers will be reimbursed up to a maximum of $21,000 per eligible apprentice or trainee ($7,000 per quarter).

SME Guarantee Scheme This will provide businesses with funding to meet immediate cash flow needs, by further enhancing lenders’ willingness and ability to provide credit. Businesses with a turnover of up to $50 million will be eligible to receive these loans.

A number of external grants are also available to assist community groups, organisations and businesses for a range of purposes.

Find out more about:

 Below are two grant databases community members can join and search for free: