A husband and wife operated caravan park in Chiltern is resigned to slipping through the cracks again and missing out on compensation from the latest Victorian government business support package.
Details of the $250 million package announced by the Victorian government on Sunday in response to the latest circuit-breaker lockdown impacting the entire state will become public on Wednesday.
But Ty and Esther Bates, who run the Lake Anderson caravan park, didn't qualify for similar compensation last time the state government announced business support because they didn't employ anyone.
The park they have run for six years is hemorrhaging from cancellations connected to the latest statewide shutdown, which is no certainty to be lifted on Thursday even though there are no COVID-19 cases in regional Victoria.
Last weekend their six cabins were fully booked for two nights before all cancelled.
Mr and Mrs Bates are now fearful they will lose all their visitors for the Winery Walkabout on the Queen's Birthday long weekend.
"You need customers for your business to work," he said.
"I wouldn't have thought it was rocket science.
"We are a husband and wife business and put everything on the line.
"Since last year nothing has really changed."
The Bates received $4500 compensation from the February showdown which was based on the park's cancellations and could be eligible for a one-off $2500 this time around.
"$2500? Big deal. My power bill each month is $3000," Mr Bates said.
"We have handed more than that back in cancellations.
"They talk about the potential of (virus) spread, but what about the potential of small businesses in regional Victoria falling over?
"We believe in our location and believe Chiltern is going to be like Beechworth in 10 years time."
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Mr and Mrs Bates recently made the tough decision to sell a house they had rented to keep the park afloat.
The Victorian government provided no clear indication the latest lockdown would end on Thursday or whether regional Victoria would be set free and the shutdown to stay in Melbourne.
A final call rests with the state's chief health officer, Brett Sutton.
The Border Mail contacted the Victorian government for comment.
The Andrews Labor government condemned the federal government for not coming to the party with business support funding in response to the state's fourth lockdown.
She investigated the fund when more than 1000 complaints were received from angry business owners.
Member for Benambra Bill Tilley doubts the government has learnt from previous mistakes.
"What we know is that more than four out of five businesses will get no support under this package," he said.
"Last time just $12 million of a $100 million package reached these businesses, the Ombudsman called it a massive fail.
"And it's not just the businesses, what about all the staff who have lost shifts.
"Who will pay their grocery bill, rent and electricity?
"Here we are 18 months into this, and have they learned nothing.
"The Victorian Labor government still hasn't got its act together, these support packages have no detail and won't open until Wednesday and there is no certainty of that at this stage."
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