Master Builders Victoria (MBV) has successfully advocated to the Victorian Government to amend the application process for its Business Costs Assistance Program Round Four – Construction grants ensuring hundreds more of our members can access this grant.
As part of the eligibility criteria to apply for the Business Costs assistance grants, businesses were asked to show proof that ‘the business owner holds a WorkSafe Construction Induction Training Card (White Card or ‘ticket’), or interstate equivalent issued by a comparable governing authority in another Australian state or territory.’
However, MBV has found that many of our members applying for the grant only held a Red Card. The Red Card is the Victorian Construction Induction Training Card from pre-2008. Builders starting in the industry after 2008 hold a White Card; however, the Red Card is still acceptable under Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017.
Members wishing to apply for this funding told us that they needed to upgrade to a White Card to access this funding, which is a major time and cost inconvenience.
The cheapest process is to redo the training, which takes up to eight hours and can cost up to $250.
With the funding program due to close on 9 November 2021, MBV advocated to the Victorian Government for Business Victoria to accept the Red Card to save its members time and money. The Victorian Government has now agreed to this change.
In addition to this, if the fund is undersubscribed by the deadline date, MBV will continue to work with the Victorian Government on the criteria to ensure that the grants can be provided to those businesses that need them the most.
Many of our members that work in the renovations sector are excluded from the round four grant because they received the one-off COVID Hardship payment.
However, these businesses weren’t permitted to work inside occupied premises for more than 145 days over the past 18 months. It is now vital that any undersubscribed grant money is directed to this sector – especially as they work to recover their business operations.
The Victorian Government’s Business Costs Assistance Program Round Four – Construction provides one-off payments to eligible employing and non-employing businesses in the building and construction sector that were operating in the following local government areas at the time of restrictions:
- Metropolitan Melbourne.
- The City of Greater Geelong.
- Mitchell Shire.
- Surf Coast Shire.
The grant’s qualifying period relates to the COVID-19 restrictions that were in effect from 21 September to 4 October 2021.
One-off grants of $2000 are available for eligible non-employing construction industry businesses. Based on payroll size, one-off grants of $2800, $5600, or $8400 are available for eligible construction industry businesses.
With many of our members still struggling financially from the effects of prolonged lockdowns, we encourage all affected members to apply for this grant.
For more information or to apply for this grant, visit https://business.vic.gov.au/grants-and-programs/business-costs-assistance-program-round-four-construction.