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  • Jason Regan

Cash relief for storm-hit Vic businesses

Victorian businesses will be compensated with weekly payments of $2500 as part of an expanded relief package following last month's devastating storms.

More than half a million homes and businesses across the state lost power during the wild storms on October 29, with many remaining off the grid for several days and weeks in some cases.

Thousands of Victorians have woken without power after thunderstorms and wild winds lashed the state overnight. (AAP Image/James Ross)

Businesses with an annual payroll of less than $10 million who were without power as of November 5 can now access $2500 per week for up to three weeks. The prolonged power outage payment is jointly funded by the federal and state governments and previously only applied to residents, who could claim $1680 for each week they were cut off up to three weeks.

Victorian Emergency Services Minister Jaclyn Symes said the payment will "help businesses to pay wages, rent and other expenses employers need to keep operating".

"We understand this has been a really stressful time for communities," she said in a statement on Tuesday. 
"The introduction of the prolonged power outage payment for businesses will take some of that stress and pressure off people as they recover."

Federal counterpart Bridget McKenzie wants to ensure affected businesses have suitable support, noting being "without essential power is incredibly difficult".

Power companies AusNet Services and United Energy will doll out the payments and contact eligible customers.


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