Everything you need to know about the Business Support Fund

August 26, 2020

A lot of businesses are doing it tough right now – and yours might be one of them.

Thankfully, there’s help.

Alongside the introduction of stage 4 restrictions, a swathe of different programs have been introduced to support Victorian businesses and help them make it through to the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of which is the Business Support Fund.

Originally brought in to help businesses struggling under stage 3 restrictions, this scheme has recently been expanded to cover businesses that are now being hit hard by stage 4 lockdown rules.

How exactly does this scheme work? And does your business qualify?

It can all be a bit confusing – luckily for you, our small business bookkeepers in Melbourne are here to explain what it might mean for you.

small business bookkeeping

Our small business bookkeepers explain the Business Support Fund expansion

When the pandemic began, the Business Support Program was created by the Victorian state government. Its goal was simple: to support industries hit especially hard by business operating restrictions like…

  • Tourism
  • Hospitality
  • Events

Under the Business Support Fund, affected businesses were eligible for $10,000 grants to help keep the lights on and support themselves throughout lockdown.

However, the recent extension of Melbourne and Victoria’s coronavirus restrictions means that it isn’t just industries that can’t social distance that are being affected!

Because of this, the scheme has been expanded – now, it’s available to a much wider range of businesses, with all sorts of small businesses in Melbourne eligible for one-off $10,000 grants to help cover expenses during the extended lockdown.

How long do I have?

With a recently-extended closing date of 14 September 2020, you’ve still got time to make an application. That said, we recommend getting one in order ASAP!

How much is my business eligible for, and what can I spend it on?

Under the newly expanded system, businesses in Melbourne and regional Victoria are eligible for $10,000 one-off grants to help them stay afloat.

These grants can be used for a wide range of different costs:

  • Covering business expenses including utilities, rent and more
  • Seek financial assistance, legal help or other professional advice
  • Restructure parts of your business
  • Fund marketing campaigns, new product lines or changes in business direction

These are just some of the things your business can use its grant for – there’s no fine print saying that your grant must be used for a specific purpose.

(Struggling to decide where the money should go? Your business bookkeeper can help, pointing out areas that might need the cash injection more than others.)

What’s the catch?

Like with any government scheme, there are certain conditions that your business will need to meet in order to qualify.

Besides reporting a financial loss as a result of lockdown, your business will also need to:

  • Participate in the JobKeeper
  • Employ people (this excludes most sole traders)
  • Be registered with WorkSafe
  • Have less than $3 million in annual payroll for 2019-20 on an ungrouped basis
  • Be GST-registered as of 30 June 2020
  • Hold a current ABN as of 30 June 2020
  • Be registered with Federal and State regulators

So long as you tick these boxes, you’re good to go!

business support fund expansion

What if I already claimed a $5,000 grant under the original Business Support Fund?

Good news: you’re likely still eligible for an additional $5,000 under the Business Support Fund expansion… provided that you meet a handful of conditions, that is!

For starters, your business will need to meet all of the same criteria as any other business applying for the Business Support Fund expansion.

More importantly however, you’ll also need to file a new application.

While the conditions are similar, they aren’t 100% identical – hence, the need to fill out a new application.

Once your application is accepted, you’ll receive an additional $5,000 on top of your initial Business Support Fund payment, for a total of $10,000 in grants.

And if you haven’t received your first $5,000 Business Support Fund grant yet, you won’t even have to do anything – you’ll receive both payments together without having to file a new application.

What about regional businesses?

So far, we’ve been talking strictly about businesses in metropolitan Melbourne – but what about businesses in regional Victoria, with their slightly more relaxed stage 3 restrictions?

While the restrictions aren’t quite as harsh, that doesn’t change the fact that many businesses are suffering.

Luckily, businesses outside of Melbourne are also eligible, with $5,000 grants available for regional businesses. As long as your business meets all the same eligibility criteria, you’ll be able to make a claim.

How our bookkeeping services in Melbourne can help

One of the best things you can do for your business is get in touch with a bookkeeper in Melbourne instead of doing everything on your own.

Accurate financial is key to making the right calls for your business – especially during such a financially tough time as now.

Whether it’s evaluating how your cash flow has been affected by COVID-19 to deciding where your Business Relief Fund grant should go, the right financial information is crucial.

While there are many businesses that have had to shut their doors temporarily, our bookkeepers in Melbourne aren’t among them – we’re still here, helping small businesses like yours figure out what the next step needs to be.

With a focus on helping small and medium businesses, we can supply you with the information you need to get through the pandemic and come out the other side.

In addition to cash flow monitoring, our team can also clean up messy accounts, providing you with a more accurate assessment of your business finances, empowering you and allowing you to make the right call for your business.

All you need to do is make contact with our bookkeepers in Melbourne!

Find out what your business needs to do to survive lockdown – give our bookkeepers in Melbourne a call today on (03) 9589 0128, or click here to arrange an online, socially-distant meeting.