Councils COVID-19 business support package

financial hardship business

A COVID-19 support package of more than $2 million was adopted at Surf Coast Shire Council’s Special Council meeting on Tuesday 28 April, 2020. We have summarised the details related to businesses below.  


A total of $1,768,000 for COVID-19 support was included in the Draft Budget 2020-21, which was also adopted at the meeting. The $1,768,000 allocation added to $400,000 already earmarked for the current financial year.

Specifically, the business support package outlined in the report approved by Council includes:

  • Waiving new fees for the following registrations and permits and refunding those fees paid in 2019-20 including:
  • Permits for food businesses      
  • Permits for accommodation or health-related businesses (e.g. hair & beauty)      
  • Caravan Park fees; and      
  • ‘Street’ Trading permits including A-frame and alfresco dining permits.
  • A rebate of $225 for all commercially rateable properties in 2020-21.
  • A waiver of penalty interest on outstanding rates and debts (except those relating to fines and infringements) for the period 16 March 2020 to 30 June 2021.
  • The establishment of the Community Support and Economic Support teams to assist the community and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • $20,000 to the Community Support Team in 2019-20 to respond quickly to low-cost and immediate needs arising through their work with communities and businesses and notes that further allocations in 2019-20 may be considered.
  • $1,000,000 for a COVID-19 Support program in the 2020-21 financial year to fund businesses and community-led recovery plans.
  • Adoption of a COVID-19 Hardship policy with key features including:      
    • The options for payment plans allow a plan to be in place until 30 June 2022;      
    • Penalty interest will be waived until 30 June 2021; and       
    • Under exceptional circumstances, a ratepayer may make an application to have a portion of their rates and charges waived, which is a right available to them under the Local Government Act 1989. These applications would be subject to a formal resolution of Council at a meeting closed to the public.

Council will need to continue to monitor the COVID-19 impacts to assess whether further support is needed.

The full details can be read in the minutes from the 28 April Council meeting

Refunds for Business-related permits paid in this financial year

If you have paid a business-related permit for any of the permit types listed above:

  • Businesses do not need to contact the Council to request a refund. 
  • No action is required from you right now. The Surf Coast Shire Council already has your details, including email address and bank account details. 
  • 100% of the permit fee paid will be refunded.
  • Details of permits paid by each eligible business are being collated. 
  • You will be contacted by Council to confirm your bank account details for refunds. 
  • Once details are confirmed, your refund will be processed. 
  • This will take time. We will not be in a position to refund all fees immediately.

Business Support package items relating to next financial year (2020-21)

The draft budget includes the Covid-19 Support Package measures to be delivered in 2020-21 such as: 

  • $1 million to help businesses and communities to re-establish and recover from the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic.
  • $195,000 of support for people experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, by waiving of interest on outstanding rates and debts.
  • $250,000 of rate relief in the form of a rebate for commercial and industrial ratepayers to support economic recovery across the shire.
  • $323,000 of support for food, hospitality and accommodation businesses, by waiving of fees for food, health and caravan park registrations as well as Shopfront ‘Street’ Trading permits (including A-frame and alfresco dining permits).

Any business or community member can make a submission to the draft budget from Wednesday 29 April until midday Thursday 28 May. 

There is an online submission form at, email a submission to, or post it to: Chief Executive Officer, Surf Coast Shire, PO Box 350, Torquay, VIC 3228.

Anyone making a submission can request to present to the Hearing of Submissions Committee, which will take place via teleconference at 6pm on Tuesday 2 June 2020.

Council proposes to adopt the Budget 2020-21 at a meeting of Council scheduled for 6pm on Tuesday 23 June 2020.