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Mitchell Shire Business Hardship Recovery Fund Eligibility Criteria

Standard Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the Fund, a business must:

a) Be a for-profit business that has a premises or operations physically located within Mitchell Shire AND which was directly affected (in operating terms; either fully or partly) by the Restricted Activities Directions (Restricted Areas) brought into force at 11.59pm on 8 July 2020 and by the subsequent iterations of the same - namely Restricted Activities Directions (Restricted Areas) (No 2); (No 3); (No 4); and (No 5), which were first brought into force at 11.59pm on 19 July 2020 and which continued to be in force up until 11:59pm on 5 August 2020 [when RAD (RA) (No 6) came into force).

Please refer to Appendix 1 through to Appendix 5 [which will include RAD(RA); RAD(RA)(No2); RAD(RA)(No3); RAD(RA)(No4); and RAD(RA)(No5)] for further detail on each type of businesses that was affected. A summary is provided immediately below:

The Restricted Activities Directions (No 1 through No 5) set out restricted activities which heavily or completed restricted ordinary trading practices for the following types of business and/or business activity:

  1. pubs, bars, clubs, nightclubs and hotels and in particular a licenced premises
  2. physical recreation facility (incl. a personal training facility and a play centre)
  3. community facility
  4. entertainment facility
  5. restricted retail facilities (e.g. a beauty and personal care facility; a hairdressing facility; an auction house; a market stall (other than those as defined in the Direction))
  6. food and drink facilities which ordinarily rely on ‘dine-in’ custom (e.g. a café; a restaurant; a fast-food store; a cafeteria; a canteen) or provide external catering services within Mitchell Shire
  7. accommodation facilities
  8. swimming pools
  9. animal facilities (e.g. a zoological park; a wildlife centre; a petting zoo; an aquarium; an animal form that is not being operated for the purpose of producing food)
  10. real Estate auctions and inspections – as per the instructions in the Directions.

NB: Part 17. of each of the Directions gives further ‘Other definitions’ which further clarify the type of businesses included or excluded by the respective Restricted Activity Directions.

In a questionnaire - businesses could be asked to very briefly explain how the RAD(RA) 1 – 5 affected them.

b) Be located within a ‘shop front’ or ‘customer facing and serving’ premises which is ordinarily critical to hosting customers or operate a ‘commercial kitchen’ (as approved by Mitchell Shire Council Environment Health Services) and therefore the carrying out of the business’s commercial activities (e.g. a shop front; gymnasium premises; dine in food and drink facility; motel/hotel) AND on which the business continues to have regular outgoings (e.g. rent; utilities; rates) which continue to be payable despite the reduction or ceasing of trading activity during the period in which the Restricted Activity Directions were (and may continue to be, up until 13 September 2020) in force.

c) As a business owner/operator, be ineligible for the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper payment scheme OR Victorian Government business support fund OR Victorian Government business support fund (expansion program).

d) Have employed one or more persons (including sole traders) prior to the RAD(RA) taking effect at 11.59pm on 8 July 2020.

NB: Businesses will be asked to detail how many people were employed and worked during the week (or month) prior to RAD(RA) taking effect on 9 July 2020.

e) Be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) as at 30 June 2020.

f) Be able to describe and provide evidence of facing a state of economic hardship arising from the enforcement of Restricted Activity Directions on your business (effective 11:59pm 8 July until at least 11:59pm 5 August 2020; but which it is noted are currently continuing until 13 September 2020).

Assessors will be looking for hardship of the following types (or similar circumstances):

  • Overheads were and continue to be significantly greater than revenues (i.e. Operating profit should present a significant downturn in those respective months in comparison to normal trading, this could be displayed by a visible drop in turnover etc.)
  • rental relief for my business has not been able to be accessed or negotiated with business landlord
  • foot traffic where my business is located has decreased significantly
  • attempts to pivot business model have been unsuccessful
  • unable to sell perishable stock or seasonal stock.

g) Be able to provide evidence of the claim of economic hardship.

Please provide evidence of your claim to economic hardship; and please note that providing assisting documentation will help Mitchell Shire Council to expedite your application.

Such documentary evidence should include:

  1. Business Bank Statements from 1 January 2020 (From the earliest start date post 1 January 2020 for new businesses) till 31 August 2020
  2. Profit and Loss statements for June 2020 to August 2020* [please note that this has to be broken down monthly and not consolidated to provide corroborating data from bank statements requested above.]. *Financial Reports for August 2020 should be as up to date and accurate as possible at date of application submission.

Supporting documentary evidence could also include:

  1. Lease/rental agreements
  2. Utilities bills
  3. Payroll Reports
  4. Other relevant documentary evidence of reduced incomings/unpaid or unpayable and unavoidable obligations.

Describe how this funding will assist your business.

Businesses which do not employ people (non-employing businesses) and are not registered sole-traders are not eligible for funding through this fund.

Other application information

Funding will be allocated through a grant process, through which businesses are invited to apply for a grant of $5,000.

As part of the assessment process, evidence provided by applicants will be subject to a crosscheck with other government agencies such as the State Revenue Office, Australian Tax Office and Regional Development Victoria.

Any of the following circumstances may be taken into consideration in any decision whether to award a grant:

  • Any adverse findings by a regulator regarding a business; or
  • A business is placed under external administration; or
  • There is a petition to wind up or deregister a company or business; or
  • The business is or becomes deregistered or unregistered (including cancellation or lapse in registration).

Applicants must ensure that their Australian Business Register (ABN) registration information is up-to-date and current as at the time of application.

Applicants are required to submit application online via secure application portal through Mitchell Shire Council website. All questions in the application need to be completed to ensure timely assessment and grant payment.

Funding detail

The grant amount is $5,000 per business with an ABN and registered for GST, total funds allocated for grant is $1 million.

The program will be open for applications from Friday 18 September 2020 until 11:59pm on Sunday 4 October 2020.

A business as defined by its ABN can only receive one grant under this Fund (Mitchell Shire Hardship Recovery Fund) or program.

Approved applications will automatically receive their payment for the grant. You do not need to send us an invoice. We will pay grant funds directly into your nominated bank account once the application is approved. Grant payments cannot be postponed.

When you apply, you will be asked to provide an active Australian Business Number or ‘ABN’. The ABN that you provide must correspond to the name of the applicant (or the administering body, if one has been nominated). The name associated with that bank account must correspond to the name in which the ABN has been registered.

Mitchell Shire Hardship Recovery Fund may be used to assist the business in the following manner:

  • Meet business costs, including utilities, salaries or rent
  • Seek financial, legal or other advice to support business continuity planning
  • Develop the business through marketing and communications activities or
  • Any other supporting activities related to the operation of the business.

Evidence of eligibility and compliance

Applicants must certify that they meet the eligibility criteria.

Applicants must provide evidence of the location of their business operations through the most recent:

  • utility bill (gas, electricity, telecommunications, water) or
  • lease agreement or
  • Council rate notice

Applicants must show evidence of denied application for JobKeeper.

Proof of JobKeeper ineligibility through ATO portal printout. Or Applicants must provide evidence of rejection Victorian Government business support fund and/or (expansion program).

Applicants will be subject to audit by the Victorian Government or its representatives and may be required to produce evidence (such as payroll reports to demonstrate impact) at the request of the Victorian Government for a period of four years after the grant has been approved.

If any information in the application is found to be false or misleading, or grants are not applied for the purposes of the business in accordance with the terms of funding as set out in these guidelines and attached application, the grant will be repayable on demand.

It is the responsibility of each applying business operator that all financials need to be reviewed by an independent accountant.

Other information about this Fund

Mitchell Shire Council reserves the right to amend these guidelines and application terms at any time as it deems appropriate.

The Economic Development Department of Mitchell Shire Council will endeavour to notify all applicants on the outcome of their submitted application within 10 business days of closing period for application.

If you are eligible for the Business Hardship Recovery Fund and wish to apply, please visit the Mitchell Shire Business Recovery Fund page.

This page was last updated on 18 September 2020.