MOTELLIERS are warning they will need more emergency funding after being largely left out of a $367 million state and federal lockdown package for business.
Most of the funds will target 100,000 businesses in locked down metropolitan areas but Bendigo Motel Association president Kristyn Slattery said local accommodation providers were being hit hard by Melbourne and interstate travel restrictions.
"For us, it's really hard to operate when you have at least 70 per cent of the state locked down," she said.
"Our phones are not ringing and we do not have people coming and booking in. All we hear is the sound of crickets."
Only some of the funding announced on Thursday will be available for businesses statewide.
That includes 18,000 businesses that are not eligible for other programs but have lost 70 per cent of their income.
They could be eligible for one-off payments from the $41 million that will top up the Small Business COVID Hardship Fund.
Eligible workers will also be able to get Commonwealth disaster payments of $450 or $750.
Melbourne businesses will automatically get a slice $271 million through a Business Costs Assistance Program and $55 million for the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021.
Together, the state and federal governments have given out $1.16 billion over the past two weeks in multiple business support packages.
That included payments for Bendigo businesses forced into closure during the first week of the latest lockdowns.
Ms Slattery said governments should consider more money for funds like the Business Costs Assistance Program, which was brought in earlier this year when lockdowns wreaked havoc on Queens Birthday weekend tourism trade.
The payments of up to $7000 were the last to take into account regional accommodation operators' specific challenges during lockdowns when Melbourne residents could not travel.
"Our sector needs to being seen and supported in this way once again," Ms Slattery said.
She urged regional Victorians to keep travelling when safe to do so and to book directly through businesses or regions' visitor information centres.
"Big third party booking groups take a massive percentage of the money you spend offshore, which is of no help to the communities that are trying to rebuild after lockdowns," Ms Slattery said.
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