The Victorian government will provide funding to accommodation businesses that face losses due to the new coronavirus restrictions placed on 10 Melbourne postcodes.
Payments of up to $225 per cancelled booked night will be made available for motels, caravan parks, and short-term rentals in 48 regional local government areas, as well as the Yarra Ranges and the Mornington Peninsula shires.
The operators will be covered for eligible bookings that were made before 3pm on June 30 from postcodes 3038, 3064, 3047, 3060, 3012, 3032, 3055, 3042, 3021, 3046, for the period July 1-29.
Regional development minister Jaclyn Symes said the payments meant there was “no reason” for businesses to deny refunds to families who have had to abandon planned trips. Full refunds must be provided and no cancellation fees will be levied in order for operators to receive the money.
With roughly 300,000 people currently subject to the new stay at home orders, many residents who have booked holidays will have to cancel. Industry support and recovery minister Martin Pakula said it was another hit to struggling businesses.
“We know that the last thing that regional accommodation houses and caravan parks needed was more obstacles after six months of struggle due to bushfires and coronavirus,” he said.
“Lockdowns bring no joy to anyone, but we’re standing with businesses in the regions and the suburbs as we navigate a path to the other side of this crisis.”
The government has set up a $5 million fund to deliver the support. It will also provide one-off $5000 payments for eligible businesses in the 10 affected postcode areas.
Businesses that have received payroll tax refunds and waivers or $10,000 Business Support Fund grants are eligible for the grants.
Businesses can apply for the regional accommodation support fund and the one-off grant through the Business Victoria website.