Victoria has announced a $200 million wide-ranging support package to help businesses regain their footing. Following the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the initiative is likely to be part of a renewed effort to kickstart hospitality and other sectors.
The announcement comes just days after the government announced the relaxation of several restrictions and recommendations, including the complete removal of density quotients for hospitality venues and the reopening of dance floors.
The package includes a boost to the Victorian Chamber’s Business Recovery and Resilience Mentoring Program, which will provide more small businesses with tailored business coaching.
A $100 million voucher scheme, including a $10 million round of Melbourne Money, is also included in the package, which will provide Victorians with rebates for entertainment, dining, and travel.
The package includes a $30 million regional rebate scheme, which will provide rebates for theatre, live music, cinemas, museums, galleries, conferences, exhibitions, and other events across Victoria and New South Wales.
It also contains a $30 million entertainment voucher scheme, which will provide rebates for theatre, live music, cinemas, museums, galleries, conferences, exhibitions, and other events across Victoria and New South Wales.
The government also announced a $30 million increase in funding for the Victorian Travel Voucher Scheme, encouraging more people to visit Victoria and spend their money on local lodging, attractions, and tours.
“We expect that Victorians will take up these vouchers with haste so we can make March all about supporting business and making the most of the beautiful weather and everything our state has to offer,” said Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Paul Guerra
“We know that Victorian businesses are ready to roar back and this package will help them to seize the opportunity to do that as they welcome more customers and visitors back.”
Furthermore, the government announced a $60 million Ventilation Voucher Program to assist small businesses in purchasing equipment and upgrades to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, as well as a $34.2 million programme to assist in the placement of workers in more than 1,500 jobs in hospitality, warehousing and logistics, tourism, and food processing.
Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson stated that this would help businesses in the creative sector while encouraging Victorians to get back to what they love doing.
“Our arts and cultural scene were hit hard by the global pandemic, and that’s why we’re supporting these businesses to bounce back in 2022.”
Online series to help regional business
The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with the support of Crown Melbourne, announced in February 2022 that its highly anticipated Regional Business Recovery Roadshow would become a free online series.
The business recovery sessions will provide farmers, suppliers, and producers with practical information on responding to tenders and understanding the decision-making criteria for large hospitality vendors.
Crown Group General Manager for procurement and supply, Ben Briggs said: “With over 94 per cent of our total spend going to local Australian businesses, ensuring our pipeline of suppliers for our business is key.
“These local businesses help us to source the very best local, interstate and international products available so that our guests can enjoy a truly world-class experience at our resorts.
“Consumers are also telling us that buying local is important too – we’ve seen a big and well-documented swing with Victorians wanting to support Victorian produce and suppliers. With the ongoing impact of COVID-19, we hope that initiatives like this from VCCI bring new opportunities to regional Victoria and help our state move forward.”
The extension of the Business Recovery and Resilience Mentoring Program with the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry will mean more small businesses will have access to coaching. This builds on the more than $13 billion in business support allocated by the government during the pandemic.
For more information on the package, visit vic.gov.au/business-stimulus-package.
For more details, click here: Chamber advocacy helps secure a business stimulus package.
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