Business boost: Victorian Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Martin Pakula speaks at today's press conference. Photo: JAMES ROSS/AAP IMAGE

22 new COVID-19 cases, more business support announced

July 21, 2021 BY

VICTORIA has recorded twenty-two new COVID-19 cases in the previous twenty-four hours, and the Victorian Government has announced more financial support for businesses.

A further $282.5 million will go to businesses and sole traders affected by the state’s fifth lockdown.

Speaking at a press conference this morning (Wednesday, July 22), Victoria’s chief health officer Professor Brett Sutton said although the number of cases, the highest in 10 months, was concerning, 16 of them had been in isolation for their entire infectious period.

There have been five hospital admissions, including one person linked to the Barwon Heads outbreak now in intensive care.

Victoria also broke its record for daily COVID testing yesterday (Tuesday, July 21), with 59,355 tests.

“Almost 60,000 people right across the state braved some pretty inclement weather to return the highest single day’s worth of tests that we have seen in the 18 months of this global pandemic,” Health Minister Martin Foley said.

“98.8 per cent of those results have been turned around by the next day.”

The Victorian Government’s support is expected to help about 90,000 businesses and sole traders during the 12-day lockdown, which is set to expire just before midnight on Tuesday next week. The initiatives include:

  • Eligible Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund recipients will receive $4,200, taking the total payment to $7,200, while Business Costs Assistance Program recipients will receive $2,800, increasing the total grant to $4,800
  • Businesses that had chosen not to apply for these support programs in relation to the May/June lockdown, or had been ineligible to apply but are now eligible, will be welcome to apply for July lockdown support payments and will be considered outside of the automatic top-up process
  • The vast majority of microbusinesses not registered for GST will be eligible for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment of $600/$375 per seven-day period. The Victorian Government will establish a concierge service to help these businesses access this support
  • Alpine hospitality, retail, accommodation and experience operator businesses that were eligible for grants of up to $15,000 will receive an extra $3,000 through a fresh $1.2 million injection, on top of any entitlements under the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund or Business Costs Assistance Program
  • Eligible public events and public events suppliers affected by the lockdown will receive support of up to $25,000 and $10,000 respectively through an extension of the Impacted Public Events Support Program
  • A new round of the Live Performance Support programs, with funding of up to $7,000 for presenters and up to $2,000 for suppliers, has also been confirmed, and
  • A new round of the Sporting Clubs Grants Program will provide $2,000 grants for community sport and active recreation organisations for events that have been unable to proceed or will have to be cancelled or postponed.

Industry Recovery and Support Minister Martin Pakula said the Victorian Government had provided almost $7 billion in economic support for businesses throughout the pandemic.

“Both the Health Minister and I are profoundly hopeful that we don’t have to go through this again, but we recognise that this is a very dynamic environment.”