Family-run cellar doors have been excluded from accessing the Andrews Labor Government’s business support.
Wineries desperate for financial relief after months of forced shutdowns have been blocked from the third round of the Business Support Fund grants, which are available to hospitality and retailers.
Acting Shadow Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation Peter Walsh said coronavirus shutdowns had delivered a double hit to Victorian wineries.
“Many wineries with cellar doors are family-run small businesses which have struggled through drought, fires and now government-imposed restrictions, including the loss of their sales to cafes and restaurants,” Mr Walsh said.
“Confidence was just starting to return before the second round of lockdowns that were imposed after Daniel Andrews let the virus slip through the cracks of hotel quarantine in Melbourne.
“So it’s particularly cruel they now find out that the government has excluded them from accessing support.
“With Melbourne still in lockdown, visitor numbers will take a long time to recover.
“Our country businesses are resilient, but access to these grants would provide critical relief for small businesses struggling to stay afloat at this time.
“The Andrews Labor Government keeps putting roadblocks in front of small businesses at a time when they can least afford it.
“Victorians have lost confidence in the Andrews Labor Government and its empty promises that fail to deliver genuine support for Victorian businesses to recover.”