Councils COVID-19 business support package
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 www.surfcoast.vic.gov.au/budget, email a submission to email@example.com, 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.
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