Moving it Outdoors: State Government unveils $54.5 Million Outdoor Economy Support Package for Businesses And Organisations

This week the Victorian Government announced that they will be helping businesses and the community breathe new life into local neighbourhoods as we move towards greater freedoms across the state.

As the weather improves and daylight saving is upon us,  Victorians are eagerly excited to return to their favourite bars, cafes, and restaurants.  Victoria’s Minister for Small Business, Jaala Pulford, announced that a $54.5 million outdoor economy package will be made available to support businesses as they set up for street trading as restrictions in Victoria ease.

What support programs are available?

The package includes two different programs include:

  • COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Voucher Program and the
  • COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Fund

COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Voucher Program

The Victorian Government has allocated $14.5 million to the COVIDSafe outdoor activation voucher program. This program will provide a range of SME businesses with grants of $2,000 to support them as they offer outdoor hospitality and entertainment.  The grant may be used towards:

  • The purchase of umbrellas and screens
  • Hiring of outdoor marquees or furniture
  • Marketing and promotional campaigns for the outdoor services and operations, and
  • Purchasing insurance related to outdoor activities.

Minimum spend to be eligible: Businesses must spend at least $2,000 on an outdoor initiative.

When can you apply: The Voucher Program will open soon and will be delivered by Business Victoria in partnership with Service Victoria. Keep your eyes open for this on the Business Victoria website!

What businesses are eligible to receive the COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Voucher?

  • Retail
  • Cafes, Bars and Restaurants
  • Hairdressers and Beauty Services
  • Gyms and Dance Studios
  • Community organisations
  • Not-for-profits
  • Trader associations

COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Fund

A further $40 million has been allocated to the COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Fund. This fund will enable Victorian councils to transform their local outdoor areas and allow and encourage residents to continue supporting local businesses.

This fund will provide immediate assistance to SME’s, equipping them with the necessary tools to operate outdoors. These include:

  • Street furniture (including tables, chairs and stools)
  • Landscaping
  • Marquees
  • Planter boxes
  • Public art
  • Entertainment

What Funds are Available to Victorian Councils Under The COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Fund?

There are three different types of funding available to Victorian councils. The level of business activity determines the amount of funding allocated. Here is a breakdown of what is available to each council:

  • Metropolitan Councils: will receive between $300,000 and $800,000.
  • Regional Councils will receive between $300,000 and $500,000.
  • Rural Councils will Receive Between $100,000 And $250,000.

Which local areas and councils are entitled to these programs?

The COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation voucher program and activation funds are available to SME’s across Victoria, excluding The City of Melbourne.  Businesses within the City of Melbourne will continue to be supported separately through the $100 million Melbourne City Recovery Fund and the $200 million Melbourne City Revitalisation Fund.

What can I do to help encourage customers to attend our outdoor services?

If your business is now moving to an outdoor service delivery model, we encourage you to work closely with your local council to help identify opportunities for activations and outdoor events.

For more information on business support during our roadmap out of lockdown, please reach out to your Morrows Tax and Business Advisor.


Image Source: Shutterstock (679816204)

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