The Victorian government has announced a $534 million support package for small businesses, following the second lockdown coming into effect last week.

In addition to the preciously reported $5,000 grants for small business owners, the package will also include a $20 million fund for small businesses – including salons – in the Melbourne CBD.

An additional $26 million has been pledged for mental health support for small business owners, including sole traders.

In addition, Victoria’s  payroll tax deferral scheme is also being extended, allowing salons with a payroll of up to $10 million to defer their liabilities for the first half of the 2020/2021 financial year.

Victorian treasurer Tim Pallas said the latest package brings the state’s total stimulus to $6 billion.

“What’s critically important, is that the wellbeing of Victorians and Victorian industry and business is first and foremost in our thinking during these difficult times,” Mr Pallas said. “That is our driving focus and that will be the effort where we put our continuing support over the weeks to come.”

The treasurer also suggested there will be additional measures announced at a later date.

“This is a testing time for business,” he said. “We are putting in place real, tangible efforts to assist the community, and those real tangible efforts will be ongoing. “This will not be the last that you hear of the support from this government as we go through these difficult times.”

Mr Pallas suggested that any additional measures will likely follow the Federal government’s update on July 23, with regards to its own business support plans once the JobKeeper program comes to an end.

“That of course will inform us going forward as to what further, additional support might be required for the community,” he said.

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