Victorian Small Business COVID Hardship Fund

The Small Business COVID Hardship Fund is intended by the Victorian state government to provide help to small and medium businesses that have been affected by the current COVID lock down and subsequent economic downturn.

You get a cash grant of $14,000 and it’s open to businesses even if they don’t employ anybody. Only one grant per ABN but if you have multiple businesses – you can apply for each of them.

Am I eligible?

You are if you can meet these four criteria.

  • You have to have an ABN. This is an easy one to meet. But you do need to have had an Australian Business Number since July 28 2021.
  • You have to have been registered for GST since 28 July 2021. The only exceptions to this one are “not for profits” and business that are not required by tax legislation to be registered for GST (you need a statutory declaration by your tax agent if this is the case). But if you haven’t registered for GST simply because you are not required to (your turnover is less than $75,000) then you are not eligible.
  • You have to be able to show that you have suffered a downturn of at least 70% in any two week period since May 27 2021. This needs to be due to COVID.
  • You are not eligible if you have received any kind COVID support funding from the Victorian Government started on – or after May 27 2021. To see what is on the list of other programmes that might make you ineligible, CLICK HERE.

What else?

You also have to be registered with Worksafe (if you have employees) and you also need to be making sure that employees are getting paid leave entitlements. Also, that your employees that can work from home – are working from home.

How do I work out if I meet 70%?

Work out your BEST two weeks in the period 27 May to 10 September 2019 and then compare it to your WORST two weeks in the period 27 May and 10 September 2021. Your tax agent can work this out for you. You might be asked to prove this which means you might have to provide evidence like Business Activity Statements, sales reports or financial statements.

So it’s not too hard to be eligible for this. But applications close 10 September 2021. So REGISTER NOW!

YOUR TAX AGENT CAN APPLY FOR YOU! That’s also the quickest way to get the money (see “How to Apply”, below).

What else will I need?

You need to provide ID to prove you really are you (Australian driver licence, Australian Passport, Medicare Card or Australian visa information and foreign passport).

Make sure that everything (business details like contact address, phone, email, etc) are up to date on the Australian Business Registry. If it’s not it may slow down the application. The ABR is usually where you registered your ABN originally. If you are like most businesses, you have probably never updated anything or even logged in to your ABN.

Go to and click on “Update your ABN details”. CLICK HERE.

But you will need a valid MyGovID and be authorised to access the ABN. For instructions on how to set that up – go to the ATO website which has a guide on the process. To find the page – CLICK HERE.

How to apply

There are three ways to do it.

  • A qualified agent (qualified accountant / registered tax agent / registered BAS) does it on your behalf and also vouches that you have had a 70% drop in turnover. This is the preferred and quickest way to do it and the one least likely to be held up by checking and red tape.
  • You can apply directly but you still need to get your accountant, tax agent or BAS agent to provide you with a verified application, on their own letterhead, which you then submit. You can find the details the tax agent needs to provide HERE: Letter from the Qualified Agent template.
  • If you don’t have a tax agent of some sort then you can do it your self. But this might take up to 25 business days to process. You can register your interest (they will send you an email with instructions) CLICK HERE.

The quickest way to get this done is to get your tax agent to do it for you!

Call Wealthpath Accountants now for help and advice on: 1300 268 800