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“Underwhelming” support

VICTORIAN businesses most affected by the seven-day circuit breaker lockdown are eligible to receive a slice of the $250 million business support package announced on Sunday.

Acting premier, James Merlino targeted the hospitality, retail, events and creative industries for the $250.7 million Circuit Breaker Business Support Package, designed to help up to 90,000 Victorian businesses survive the state’s fourth lockdown.

The funding is available for small to medium sized businesses and sole traders, and features three support programs, including a $2500 grant for businesses directly affected by the restrictions as part of the $190.01 million second round of the Business Costs Assistance Program – these businesses include restaurants and cafes, event suppliers, accommodation providers, and non-essential retailers.

Hospitality businesses holding an eligible liquor licence and food certificate will be eligible for a $3500 grant per premises as part of the $40.7 million new round of the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund.

Mr Merlino said the events industry would also receive a boost, with $20 million allocated to supporting event operators which had incurred losses due to the lockdown, with more details to be provided soon.

“The circuit-breaker action will keep Victorians safe and protect businesses and jobs – but we know it’s not easy shutting your doors and putting your plans on hold,” he said.

“This support will help businesses pay the bills and maintain their workforce as best they can, as we work together to get through this challenge.”

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