Vic Government’s Million Dollar Boost to Hospitality Industry

Sep 14, 2020

As we head into summer, Victorian businesses re-imagine the way they work thanks to the government’s helping hand.

A $290 million package has just been announced by the Victorian government that delivers further support to the entertainment and hospitality industry, repurposes Melbourne’s CBD and gives sole traders a leg up as they head into the summer season.

The global pandemic has meant our hospitality industry has had to close its doors, crippling businesses and depriving Victorians of an identity we pride ourselves on. With this new package, the indoors will be taken out into to the open air – as we embrace a new way of conducting business under a COVID-normal way of life.

Major cities like New York have led the way in transforming footpaths and roads to whole new experiences, aided by proactive planning and licensing regulations. Melbourne and Victoria will apply the best overseas experiences to create a new, exciting model for outdoor entertainment as the weather begins to warm up.

The Victorian Government’s Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package will provide $87.5 million to councils and businesses outside of Melbourne’s CBD to make widespread outdoor dining safe, practical and a reality this summer.

 “We’ll help Melbourne recover by bringing people back to the CBD safely, with new events and practical support for operators.” – Minister for Industry Support and Recovery, Martin Pakula

$58 million will go towards grants of up to $5,000 to help hospitality businesses pay for the practical things that will make this plan work – umbrellas, outdoor furniture, screens and other equipment. The Victorian government has also committed to invest in training, advertising, and the other supports businesses will need as the industry takes our cherished café culture outdoors.

The grants will be available to licensed and unlicensed cafés, restaurants, takeaway food businesses, pubs, taverns, bars and clubs with a payroll of less than $3 million – with more than 11,000 businesses eligible to benefit.

Funding of $29.5 million will be provided to local councils to help them implement swift and streamlined permit, enforcement and monitoring processes to support expanded outdoor dining in the Third Step in the roadmap to reopening.

Metropolitan councils and regional city councils will be eligible for up to $500,000 in assistance, while rural councils will be eligible for up to $250,000. This money can also be passed on to businesses in the form of reducing or waiving permit fees or invested in infrastructure such as streetscaping and lighting.

In recognition of how Melbourne’s CBD has suffered due to lockdown, the government will also create a landmark $100 million fund to reshape Melbourne’s CBD in partnership with the City of Melbourne.

 “We’ve listened to our sole traders and understand they’ve been doing it tough – this support will give them more certainty, and more security.” – Minister for Small Business, Jaala Pulford

There are more than 16,500 businesses registered in the City of Melbourne, supporting more than 479,000 jobs. The Melbourne City Recovery Fund will provide grants to city businesses, helping the industry to move outdoors with COVID-safe events and rebuild our vibrant CBD.

Small and medium businesses will be able apply for $30 million worth of grants to pay for equipment, convert spaces like rooftops and courtyards into hospitality zones and remodel internal layouts to allow for the better flow of patrons.

Reflecting our reputation as the cultural capital of the nation, a further $30 million will support COVIDSafe events and cultural activities to attract visitors back to the CBD when it’s safe to do so. Another $40 million will go towards providing physical improvements to the CBD streetscape, which could include wider footpaths, bollards and street planter boxes.

These announcements are in addition to the recent $3 billion in grants, tax relief and cashflow support for Victorian businesses that the government have committed to – the largest package of its kind ever delivered in Victoria.

“I know it’s a tough time for the hospitality industry – but this is a step in the right direction and we’ll work with businesses and give them the support they need to navigate this path to COVID Normal.” – Minister for Consumer Affairs, Melissa Horne.

This media release was originally sourced here.


An initiative of Fine Food, Hospitality Unites is the voice of the foodservice industry, dedicated to sharing the collective experiences and solutions to thrive in a post-COVID economy.

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