$534m support for Vic virus-hit businesses

More than 80,000 Victorian businesses hurt by the state’s second coronavirus lockdown can apply for $5000 cash grants.

Treasurer Tim Pallas unveiled a $534 million support package on Friday, including the cash grants for businesses affected by the six-week lockdown of metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire.

The package also includes $30 million for the hospitality industry, $20 million for a fund for businesses in the Melbourne CBD, and $40 million for regional tourism businesses to cover the cost of refunds.

Some $6 million will also go to mental health support for business owners.

“Clearly, the return to Melbourne to stage three restrictions just isn’t where we want it to be. Really what this will be is a clearly traumatic, a very difficult time for many people,” Mr Pallas said.

“For the pain, for the hardship that people have to endure, I want to be very clear that the government apologises to Victorians for it.”

He said the government has now offered $6 billion in support to Victorians during the pandemic.

“This a testing time for business. It is a testing time for us all. It is important that we do more than simply provide platitudes of support to the community,” Mr Pallas said. 

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