The Victorian Government is backing regional accommodation businesses affected by the lockdown on some metropolitan suburbs with a fund to assist operators who will lose income due to cancelled bookings.
More than 300,000 Melburnians living in 10 postcodes are subject to strict stay at home orders until 11.59pm on 29 July, meaning many will be forced to cancel holidays they had previously booked at locations across the state.
Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Martin Pakula announced that payments from a $5 million fund would be made available to regional businesses including motels, caravan parks and short-term rentals such as Airbnb properties that could demonstrate losses due to the new restrictions required to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Payments of up to $225 per cancelled booked night will be paid, with conditions including that full refunds are provided and no cancellation fees are levied.
The fund means that there is no good reason that families who had booked for precious time away in rural and regional Victoria and now have to cancel, through no fault of their own, will be out of pocket.
Accommodation businesses in 48 regional local government areas as well as the Yarra Ranges and the Mornington Peninsula shires will be covered for eligible bookings that were received from “hot zone” postcodes 3038, 3064, 3047, 3060, 3012, 3032, 3055, 3042, 3021, 3046 by 3pm on 30 June for the period 1 July to 29 July.
The $5 million support for regional accommodation businesses follows confirmation of one-off $5,000 payments that will be made available for eligible businesses in the 10 postcode areas subject to the return of Stage 3 restrictions.
Businesses that have received payroll tax refunds and waivers or $10,000 Business Support Fund grants are eligible for the further $5,000 grants.
Businesses can register for the $5,000 local lockdowns grant and the regional accommodation support fund at www.business.vic.gov.au.
As stated by Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Martin Pakula
“We know that the last thing that regional accommodation houses and caravan parks needed was more obstacles after six months of struggle due to bushfires and coronavirus.”
“Lockdowns bring no joy to anyone, but we’re standing with businesses in the regions and the suburbs as we navigate a path to the other side of this crisis.”
As stated by Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes
“These payments will help these important employers, and it means that there’s no reason that refunds should not be paid to families who will now have to stay at home over the holidays.”