Much-needed support has been announced for Victoria’s struggling hospitality sector in a bid to aid with the fallout of the latest Victorian COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions. The Victorian Government and Federal Government have jointly announced that an additional $70 million will be provided to give eligible licensed venues the financial support and confidence they need to recover from Victoria’s fifth lockdown.
Additional Funding Available for Victorian Hospitality Venues
On 28 July 2021, it was announced that the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund would receive a $70 million boost, with grants of up to $20,000 available to licensed venues, with an additional $2,000 available if the business is located within the Melbourne CBD.
Eligibility for the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund
To receive this funding, the business will need to have received or been eligible for the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021.
To be eligible for the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021, the business must:
- Operate a licensed bar, restaurant, pub, club, hotel, café or reception centre that is registered to serve food and alcohol located in Victoria on 27 May 2021
- Hold a general or late night (general), full club, restaurant and café, producer’s or on-premises or late night (on premises) liquor licence as of 27 May 2021
- Have a food business (which may be conducted by a third party) holding a Class 2 or 3 Service Sector Certificate of Registration that is valid in 2021 under the Food Act 1984 (Vic) which serves food at the same venue
- Business registered for GST on 27 May 2021
- Business must hold an ABN and have held that ABN on 27 May 2021
- Business must be registered with the responsible Federal or State regulator
In addition to satisfying all of the above criteria, an ‘Employing Business’ must also attest that the business is supporting its workers to access any paid leave entitlements, or that if a person can work from home, to work from home during the period of restrictions and supporting their casual workers where possible.
Exclusions of the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund
Any business that received support under the second round of the Business Cost Assistance Program is not eligible for support under the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021.
In addition, if the business operates a private gender-exclusive club and where membership is only by invitation or nomination by an existing member, it is not able to receive any funding from this scheme.
Application Process for the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund
Under the previous fund, businesses were invited to apply using their registered eLicence email contact details. It remains to be seen if this will happen again, as no details were provided in Wednesday’s announcement.
In any event, you need to ensure your contact details are up to date in the Liquor Licence Portal. If you don’t have an eLicence – please follow this link to register your account.
What Should You Do Now?
Even if your business didn’t previously apply for and receive government funding, you may still be eligible for this further financial support. Make sure your details are updated in the eLicence Portal and if you need any assistance with the application process or have any queries, please reach out to our BlueRock Law team.