The Andrews Labor Government is delivering new funding for Victorian councils to help local businesses and communities stay safe and open through 2021.

Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane has announced more than $7 million for councils across the state to establish the Local Government Business Concierge and Hospitality Support program.

The funding will be used to employ more than 230 workers to proactively promote COVIDSafe practices through direct engagement with businesses.

Councils can use the funding to employ up to four COVID Business Support Officers who will help high-risk locations like markets and shopping strips comply with COVIDSafe requirements such as checking in, physical distancing and cleaning.

They will work with local hospitality businesses, community venues and small retailers – including hairdressers, butchers and milk bars – to ensure they can stay COVIDSafe, as well as delivering a wide range of information on COVIDSafe practices to the community.

The 40 metropolitan and regional city councils will each receive funding for four support officers, while 38 rural councils will receive funding for two new staff, with a total of 236 positions to be created to help business across the state.

Funding will also support councils with high numbers of residents from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds to help CALD businesses.

For more information on local government funding support visit

Quote attributable to Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane

“Councils are crucial to Victoria’s recovery from the pandemic and this funding enables them to support businesses and communities with COVIDSafe best practice and keep local economies open.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Martin Pakula

“This is about making sure Victorian business – and every community in our state – has the support and information they need to stay safe and open through 2021.”