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The Victorian government have announced a $100 million support package for sole traders to recover from COVID-19, one day after revealing plans for $3 billion in cash grants and tax relief for SMEs.
The announcement that grants of up to $3,000 will be offered to 30,000 individuals comes after Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday promised a “package of considerable support” for sole traders.
Previously, funds from the Business Support Program have only been available to businesses that are signed up for JobKeeper, and that have employees, meaning sole traders have been omitted.
In early August, Minister for Business Precincts Martin Pakula told 2GB: “We simply don’t have the capacity to do that. We would have either had to increase the envelope by some billions of dollars or we would have had to reduce the payment to businesses from $10,000 to maybe $2,000. It wouldn’t have been appropriate support.”
However, on Monday morning the announcement was made that the Victorian Government are to provide $100 million worth of grants to sole traders, to help stimulate the state’s economy.
“The new sole trader initiative is a recognition of the serious challenges that many sole traders have faced,” said Mr Pakula.
“That will be those traders who work in areas like accommodation and tourism, some non-permitted retail, media and film production, gyms, creative studios, outdoor entertainment, private museums and galleries.”
“It will allow tens of thousands of them to help pay their overheads — to give them the opportunity to emerge on the other side and recover strongly.”
The grants will be offered to sole traders who operate from a commercial premises or location of which the sole operator is the tenant or licensee.
This funding comes as part of an additional $290 million package announced today, which also includes funding for businesses in Melbourne’s CBD to go al fresco