First Peoples’ COVID-19 Business Support Fund

Grants to help Victorian Aboriginal businesses affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic get back on their feet

Program overview

The Victorian Government has developed the First Peoples’ COVID-19 Business Support Fund to support Victorian Aboriginal businesses that have been affected by trading restrictions introduced to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Grants can be used to help to meet business costs including rent and salaries, develop marketing activities or pivot the business offering in response to the current environment. A full list of uses can be found below [link].

Eligible businesses will be provided with a one-off grant of up to $10,000.

To be eligible, businesses must be a certified Victorian Aboriginal business through Kinaway Chamber of Commerce (Kinaway).

You can find out more about the process of certification on the Kinaway website.

Before applying, please read the information provided on this page, including the program guidelines and frequently asked questions (FAQs). Applicants must also ensure they have the required documentation before they apply.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

To apply for a grant, please follow the link to Apply now

Applications will be open until 11:59pm on 26 March 2021 or until available funds are exhausted, whichever is earlier.

1.  What support is available?

Eligible Aboriginal businesses can receive a grant of up to $10,000 per Australian Business Number (ABN).

Businesses that have already received financial assistance through these Victorian Government business support grants will be eligible for a lower level of support through this Fund:

  • businesses who have received a $5000 grant from the Business Support Fund – Expansion program are eligible for a $5000 grant from this Fund
  • businesses who have received funding of up to $3000 from the Sole Trader Support Fund (STSF) are eligible for a reduced grant amount from this fund (the grant amount will be reduced by the amount already received from STSF).

Only one grant will be awarded to each eligible ABN, regardless of the number of business names attached to that ABN.

2. Who can apply for this grant?

This fund is open to Victorian Aboriginal businesses (including sole traders and self-employed businesses) that meet all of the following criteria:

  • are a Victorian business (registered in Victoria)
  • hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and held that ABN on 16 March 2020
  • are certified as an Aboriginal business through Kinaway
  • have a minimum annual turnover of $30,000 (or pro-rata turnover if an annual turnover is not available)
  • have been impacted by temporary trading restrictions introduced to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

3. What businesses are not eligible for this grant?

Not-for-profit, charitable organisations, community organisations, co-operatives and Australian public companies are not eligible for funding under this program.

Aboriginal businesses who have already received funding of $10,000 or more from the Business Support Fund, the Business Support Fund – Expansion program or the third round of the Business Support Fund are also not eligible for funding under this program. 

4. What can the grant be used for?

Grants can be used to:

  • meet business costs, including utilities, stock, salaries or rent
  • seek financial, legal or other advice to support business continuity planning
  • develop the business through marketing and communications activities
  • address supply chain and logistics challenges
  • pivot the business offering in response to the current environment
  • conduct other supporting activities related to the operation of the business.

5. What evidence do businesses need to provide to prove eligibility and compliance?

Applicants must certify in writing that they meet the eligibility criteria.

Applicants must provide a copy of their business certification documentation from Kinaway as evidence that the business is an eligible Victorian Aboriginal business.

If the business is not a Kinaway certified business, the applicant will need to contact Kinaway and complete a certification process before submitting their application for funding under this program.

Applicants must also provide evidence that the business meets the minimum annual turnover of $30,000 (or pro-rata turnover if an annual turnover is not available). This evidence can be any of the following:

  • a letter from an accountant declaring annual turnover or pro-rata turnover of three months prior to 16 March 2020
  • an annual Business Activity Statement (BAS) from 2018/19 or 2019/20
  • at least one Quarterly BAS from 2019/2020
  • a fully executed statutory declaration attesting to annual turnover

6. How to apply

Before applying, please ensure that you have read and understood the information on this page and frequently asked questions (FAQs) 

Applicants must also ensure they have the required documentation before they apply.

To apply, please submit an online application via the link Apply now

All questions in the application must be completed and any requested documentation attached to ensure timely assessment and grant payment.

For further assistance please contact us or call the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15.