A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

VIC newsagents: you have 1 more day to improve ventilation in-store to access a $500 grant

Victorian businesses have until tomorrow to to spend on ventilation improvements to be eligible for the state government $500 ventilation rebate.

I urge all Victorian small business retailers to consider this. A HEPA filter, for example, in-store makes it a safe space, and more appealing to shoppers concerned about safety.

Here is the link to the state government details on the program: https://business.vic.gov.au/grants-and-programs/small-business-ventilation-program/ventilation-rebate

Why is ventilation important?
Good ventilation is important because COVID-19 is airborne and primarily spread between people breathing in very small droplets or aerosols containing the virus. The risk of aerosol transmission is higher in a poorly ventilated space because fine aerosol spray from an infected person can remain circulating, linger and spread more easily.

The Victorian Government has released a Small Business Ventilation Guide to help businesses improve ventilation and reduce the spread of COVID-19 by encouraging air flow from outside. Business owners are encouraged to read this guide before applying.

Types of air ventilation and how they can be improved:

  • Natural ventilation – brings air from outside through and around an indoor occupied space, or to make airflow improvements to a covered outdoor space used by customers
  • Mechanical ventilation – uses mechanical equipment to increase airflow by replacing or diluting indoor air with outside air
  • Augmented ventilation – uses portable filtration units to catch particles in a filter to increase the clean air delivery rate and reduce the concentration of viral particles in the air.

Business owners must use their judgement and make decisions that are appropriate for their business to improve ventilation and air quality. This may involve seeking professional advice before committing to a purchase.

We have had HEPA filters in our office since early 2021.

With Covid infections and deaths at concerning levels and new variants concerning doctors and scientists, anything we can do in people facing businesses makes sense. A HEPA filter or better ventilation are good moves in that they are passive – shoppers themselves are not required to do anything.

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