“As [Victoria] continues to respond to the current wave of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, a lot of our small businesses are struggling” noted Acting Victorian Small Business Commissioner Mark Schramm in a recent statement released by the Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC).
In response to these ongoing struggles, the Victoria Government has extended the support available to suffering commercial tenancies.
Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme extended
The latest Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme introduced in 2021 has been extended its end date from 15 January 2022 to 15 March 2022. This extension will be available to businesses with an annual turnover of $10 million or less where those businesses have experienced a decline in turnover of at least 30% due to COVID-19.
Some key points:
- The extension operates from 16 January 2022;
- Landlords must continue to provide rent relief to eligible tenants which matches the tenant’s fall in turnover; and
- The ban on rent increases and evictions continues.
Commercial Landlord support
In its media release regarding the extension to the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme on 15 January 2022, the VBSC confirmed that eligible commercial landlords who provide rent relief under the extended Scheme will continue to be supported through the $20 million Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund.
Follow the link to view the VSBC’s full release: https://www.vsbc.vic.gov.au/news-publication/victorian-government-announcement-commercial-tenancy-relief-scheme-to-be-extended/
We are still waiting for the Regulations setting out the required procedure for this extension of the Scheme and continued landlord hardship support. We anticipate more information will be circulated shortly providing further guidance – as always, watch this space!