Victorian Government announce $200 million business stimulus package

The announcement of a $200 million stimulus package by the Victorian Government is set to help revitalise the hospitality and tourism industries. Picture: ON FILE

A new stimulus package worth $200 million has been announced by the Victorian government targeting hospitality and tourism sectors disrupted by the Omicron wave.

The package will be delivered through multiple programs, all announced by Industry Support and Recovery minister Martin Pakula and Assistant Treasurer and Creative Industries minister Danny Pearson.

“We’re encouraging Victorians to experience the best the state has to offer by going to see a show, having lunch with friends or visiting somewhere new,” Mr Pakula said.

“Business and consumer confidence is critical for our continued economic recovery and that’s why we’re investing in these programs to deliver a boost where it is needed most.”

The scheme will be extended across the state with a new $30 million program providing rebates on food and wine experiences in regional areas and in suburbs beyond Melbourne’s borders.

Following the phasing out of JobKeeper in March 2021, hospitality and tourism businesses across Australia largely relied on disaster payments to get through the Delta and Omicron waves of Covid-19, and had limited customers due to restrictions on local, domestic and international travel.

The Omicron wave was particularly devastating, with businesses that relied on increased summer tourism missing out, often forced to close or limit opening hours due to staff and supply shortages.

Now with international borders reopening, and restrictions easing in Victoria, the stimulus package aims at encouraging Victorians to get out and enjoy entertainment, dining and travel.

A $100 million voucher scheme is the largest component of the package, providing rebates to Victorians, with businesses in the City of Melbourne receiving $10 million alone to reimburse the bills of those visiting city bars, cafes, and restaurants in an extension of the Melbourne Money program.

The travel and arts sectors will both receive a $30 million voucher scheme to encourage Victorians to travel intrastate and spend on accommodation, attractions and tours as well as support theatre, live music, cinemas, museums, galleries, conferences, exhibitions, and other events across the state.

Mr Pearson said he wanted to see Victorians being able to support the creative sector critically hit by Covid-19 over the last two years by getting involved with things they enjoy.

“This will help businesses in the creative sector while encouraging Victorians to get back to what they love doing,” he said.

“Our arts and cultural scene was hit hard by the global pandemic and that’s why we’re supporting these businesses to bounce back in 2022.”

Businesses across the state will also receive $60 million in rebates and vouchers towards small businesses purchasing equipment and upgrades to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace and improve customer confidence.

Another $34.2 million of Jobs Victorian funding will be used to help employ and train over 1500 workers in hospitality, warehousing and logistics, tourism, and food processing industries, while the extension of the Small Business Digital Adaptation Program and the Business Recovery and Resilience Mentoring Program is set to continue to assist more businesses access to coaching and digital tools.

For more information on the package, visit