COVID-19 assistance to small businesses
Was your business significantly impacted by the latest circuit breaker” lockdown” (12th-17th of February)?
If so, no need to despair. The Victorian Government has recently released a new Business Costs Assistance Program to help those who experienced significant losses due to the sudden lockdown.
In this article, we’ll share the key details of the Business Costs Assistance Program (BCAP) and what you need to do to register your business.
What is the Business Costs Assistance Program (BCAP)?
The $92.06 million Business Costs Assistance Program (BCAP) makes up part of the Victorian Government’s $143 million Circuit Breaker Action Business Support Package.
The program offers grants of $2000 to small businesses (& sole traders) with an annual payroll of up to $3 million, regardless of whether they employ people or not.
The BCAP is designed to assist businesses (and sole traders) who were directly impacted by the recent COVID-19 circuit breaker action.
Whether it be:
- the loss of perishable goods (eg. Food or flowers)
- booking cancellations
- cancellation fees or charges or/and
- other costs and losses incurred that could not be reasonably avoided
These costs may have been incurred prior to, on or after 12 February 2021.
The Business Costs Assistance Program (BCAP) is designed particularly for businesses in the following industries:
- Food wholesaling
- Events and
- Selected Retail
What eligibility criteria must be met to get the Business Costs Assistance Program (BCAP)?
Just like the previous COVID-19 grants, there are few criteria that must be met to receive the BCAP payments.
Here are the main ones you need to be aware of:
1) Standard Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible for the Program, a business must:
- Be located within Victoria; and
- Be registered as operating in an eligible industry sector identified in the List of Eligible ANZSIC classes (as defined by the industry classification (ANZSIC) linked to the business’ ABN); and
- Have incurred costs (as outlined in Section 5) as a direct result of the circuit breaker action announced on 12 February 2021; and
- Have an annual Victorian payroll of up to $3 million in 2019 -20 on an ungrouped basis; and
- Be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) on 12 February 2021; and
- Hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN on 12 February 2021.
2) Other Eligibility Conditions
- Businesses that received a grant under the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund (LHVF), including the associated Circuit Breaker Payment to LHVF recipients, are not eligible for a grant under the Program.
- Businesses that meet the Program eligibility criteria that have received assistance through the three rounds of the Business Support Fund, payroll tax rebate/waiver, or other COVID-19 programs are eligible to apply for assistance under the Program.
- Accommodation businesses that apply to both the Program and the Victorian Accommodation Support Program will only be eligible for the maximum grant available under either program.
How to Apply For the Business Costs Assistance Program (BCAP)?
According to the Business Victoria website, the Program will be open for applications until the date the Program funds are exhausted or 11.59pm on 16 March 2021, whichever is earlier .
All applicants are required to apply online via the Business Victoria website.
When applying for the grant you will need:
- a valid Australian business number (ABN) in one of these eligible business sectors.
- to confirm the costs incurred and commit to holding evidence of these costs for a 12-month period.
- if you employ people, your WorkCover Employer Number (WEN) or, if this is yet to be issued, a WorkSafe Application Reference Number (WRN).
- if you do not employ people, details of a current proof of identity document is required (Australian driver’s license, Australian passport, Medicare card and Australian visa information and foreign passport).
Ready to get started?
NOTE: All questions in the application need to be completed and requested information provided to ensure timely assessment and grant payment.