The region's accommodation sector is preparing for a slow recovery when regional Victoria's lockdown lifts.
Bendigo Motels Association president Kristyn Slattery said the conservative restrictions meant it would still take time for businesses to thrive and start a proper recovery.
The restrictions means hospitality and accommodation businesses will have a slow recovery ahead after regional Victoria's lockdown ends on Friday.
"Having just regional (customers) doesn't support our business and sector enough," she said. "We can't survive and thrive on just locals and regional visitors."
"I'm really hoping that might be to our advantage this time," she said. "I know as a small business, the fatigue is really harsh and tiring - so I am hoping (lockdown ending does stimulate people to move around."
Ms Slattery said the capacity restrictions on restaurants might deter people from visiting other parts of the state.
"Obviously the seating numbers for eateries isn't ideal," she said. "Those restrictions are fairly tight but you have got to start somewhere.
"(It is) disheartening that (restaurants) can only have 10 inside and 20 outside if have they have the space. It doesn't encourage people to travel when you can't go out for dinner and there is an expectation that (travellers) still may have to have takeaway."
Ms Slattery also worried the support that small businesses relied on would disappear as regional Victoria's lockdown lifted.
"That worries me because we are not able to thrive or rebuild quickly," she said. "It's not going to be busy enough to hire all my team straight back and have them working like before lockdown five. We are a long way off that reality."
On Wednesday afternoon, the state government confirmed cash grants supporting regional businesses most affected by the current lockdown would proceed next week.
"Regional businesses have shown amazing resilience but they're doing it tough," she said. "These grants will put them in a position to recover as we move towards those crucial 70 per cent and 80 per cent vaccination rates."
About 18,000 regional business will benefit from round four of the Business Costs Assistance Program grants to be used on costs including wages, rent, utilities and insurance.
Businesses including gyms, cafes, hairdressers, nail salons, dance and swim schools, and accommodation, tourism and events businesses are eligible.
From September 2 to 16, businesses with an annual payroll of up to $650,000 will receive $5600; businesses with a payroll of between $650,000 and $3 million will get $11,200 and businesses with a wages bill between $3 million and $10 million can receive $16,800.
Automatic payments from the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund will go to about 2300 eligible cafes, restaurants, hotels and bars in regional areas. Venues with a capacity of less than 100 people will receive $10,000 for the fortnight, those with a capacity of 100-499 will receive $20,000 while the largest venues will receive $40,000.
Further announcement one business support will be made after the state government assesses which sectors remain under severely impacted settings in the two weeks after September 17.
Businesses in favour of potential for localised lockdowns
On Wednesday morning, premier Daniel Andrews indicated future lockdowns in regional Victoria could be focused to effected local government areas - as has happened in Shepparton.
"If there were an outbreak in another part of regional Victoria then we would look to try to target and localise our public health measures as much as we could," he said.
Ms Slattery and other Bendigo business owners were in support of more localised public health responses.
"Certainly it would be an advantage to a lot of places," Ms Slattery said. "If it means the rest of us aren't locked down and we are only losing one local government area each time it would be encouraging. I hope to hear more about that."
Hustler co-owner Justin McPhail said localising future lockdowns would benefit rural areas that had seen little or no coronavirus cases.
"It would be similar to two years ago when we started lockdown areas of Melbourne in terms of postcode," he said. "It's a good way to operate for places that have been locked down never seen a case or any level of transmission.
"I could understand if somewhere like Mildura had one case, was locked down for seven days and could open back up. That would have been best approach from day one."
Harpoon Social Club co-owner Zoe Waddington also said the idea of localised lockdowns in regions "would be amazing".
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