A popular $10,000 grant for small businesses and primary producers who lost income after Victoria’s devastating 2019-20 bushfire season will be extended to the Local Government Areas of Indigo, Mansfield, Wangaratta and Wellington shires.
Over 1,000 of the $10,000 Small Business Bushfire Support Grants have already been paid to small businesses and primary producers across Alpine, East Gippsland and Towong shires, with Victoria and the Commonwealth working collaboratively on the extension of this grant program for several weeks.
Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud today jointly announced the new funding with the state Minister for Police and Emergency services Lisa Neville.
“This is an excellent outcome for those regions and it’s important to continue to maintain a stimulus for small businesses affected by both this summer bushfires as well as suffering the necessary restrictions due to COVID -19” Minister Littleproud said
“The $10, 0000 small business grant package has already seen over 19 000 applications with over $191 million being paid to bush-fire impacted small business across four states and the extension of the grant to these new areas in Victoria means many more local businesses can now get the support they need to cover income lost after the fires.
“The success of the grant process is in part due to the application process which we ensured as simple as possible, with applicants able to complete their claim in a few minutes online without having to upload any financial documents.”
Minister for Police and Emergency services Lisa Neville stated that, “We heard the need for these grants loud and clear. These devastating fires affected so many businesses and communities, whether they were directly impacted by flames or not.”
She said “Small businesses are vital to local economies and communities and we’re so pleased they have been making the most of these grants. With the program now extended let’s see if we can help another thousand businesses.”
The grant is available for eligible businesses who have lost significant income as a result of the fires, whether they were directly flame affected or not. Businesses are also able to have their applications assessed under exceptional circumstances if they don’t meet the specific eligibility criteria.
As of 2 June, $11,350,000 in $10,000 grants have been paid out in Victoria, with 610 applicants receiving the grant in East Gippsland Shire, 378 in Alpine Shire and 121 in Towong Shire
The Small Business Bushfire Support Grant in Alpine, East Gippsland and Towong shires is funded by the Commonwealth Government and administered by the Victorian Government, with applications and payments processed by Rural Finance.
From today, the grant in the four additional Local Government Areas will be jointly funded by the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments.