Following the Omicron surge, the Victorian government has announced a new $201 million stimulus package to support struggling businesses across the state.

“Business didn’t need Omicron, we didn’t expect Omicron and it’s been a tougher summer than we would’ve anticipated,” Martin Pakula, minister for industry support and recovery, said in a press conference on Monday.

To combat the financial hardship experienced by many local businesses, $10 million has been pledged to relaunch the wildly successful Melbourne Money project – a collaboration with the City of Melbourne. The “biggest-ever Melbourne Money” will return “on or around March 7”, Pakula said.

He also announced a $30 million regional offshoot of Melbourne Money, which means you can get the same 25 per cent rebate at restaurants, bars and cafes right across the state – not just in the inner city. When the project kicks off, get up to $125 back on your bill when you spend a minimum of $40, and a maximum of $500, at a Victorian venue from Monday to Thursday.

The stimulus package also includes $30 million to extend the travel voucher program. An extra 150,000 vouchers – each worth $200, with a minimum spend of $400 – will be made available. Find more details here.

And there’ll be $30 million in entertainment vouchers. Assistant treasurer and minister for creative industries Danny Pearson announced a 25 per cent rebate on visits to cinemas, theatres, museums, galleries, live-music venues and other events across the state.