The Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) welcomes the announcement made today by the Andrews Government of a $1.7 billion business support package.
This is the biggest financial support package ever created in Victoria and speaks directly to engagement that VTIC has had with government on relief and assistance needed to help the tourism, travel, hospitality and events industries to survive.
VTIC Chief Executive Felicia Mariani said the industry was thrilled with the extent of areas covered under this support package.
“The tourism, travel, hospitality, accommodation and events sectors have been decimated by the impacts of Coronavirus over the past many weeks and our operators have been crushed as they watch the businesses they’ve worked hard to build over a lifetime fall apart before their eyes.
“VTIC has engaged with government on measures needed to support the industry from disappearing and this package announced today by the Treasurer of Victoria has really stepped up in a big way to ensure that our industry can survive this crisis,” Ms Mariani said.
Key elements of the $1.7 billion package include refunds of payroll tax paid by businesses back-dated to 1 July that will put cash back into the accounts of small business owners and a deferral of future tax. Cash allocations of up to $113,000, with an average payment of $24,000, paid to 24,000 small businesses that employ over 400,000 people is also a measure.
There’s a $100 million removal of rent fees for businesses operating in government properties and land tax relief for land holdings less than $1 million to receive a reprieve for this year and a liability deferral to 2021.
“Most importantly, VTIC is thrilled to see the Andrews Government allocating a $500 million business support package for specific industries hit hardest by this crisis, namely tourism, accommodation, hospitality, events and the arts. This is a crucial component of the package that speaks to the heart of the demise our industry is facing.
“We’re also thrilled to see $500 million to create a job-matching service that will align displaced workers and workers who have been stood down, with businesses that are gearing up under the crisis and in desperate need of a workforce. This is a vital component to keep people employed and one that our industry welcomes greatly.
“VTIC commends the Andrews Government on this unprecedent relief package that responds directly to the unprecedented turmoil that the business community is facing. We look forward to working with government as they shape further plans relating to support for industries most affected by the crisis.
“These measures will go a long way to help business stay in business and VTIC stands ready to do all we can to ensure that our industry connects effectively with these critical measures that government has introduced,” Ms Mariani concluded.