Council launches $440,000 COVID-19 business and support package

Published on 23 April 2020

Baw Baw Shire Council has launched a $440,000 stage-one community and business support package to financially assist residents, sporting clubs, community groups and local businesses in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The stage-one support package measures include:

Ratepayer and resident supports

Rates relief
Extension of payment terms for fourth instalment rates notices from 31 May to 30 June 2020. Penalty interest will be exempt for this period.

Hardship Policy
Review of Council’s Hardship Policy.

Free disabled parking permit extensions
Free extension of all disabled parking permits until 30 June 2020.

Community support programs
Access to community support programs including but not limited to meals on wheels, shopping assistance, respite care, home maintenance, family day care and immunisations.

Online community support hub
A dedicated online information hub has been established on Council's website to house all useful COVID-19 related information including changes to Council services and information to access supports.

Sporting club and community group supports

Annual fee waiver
Waive all winter and annual fees for community sporting clubs including utility services such as water, electricity and gas (excluding usage).

Property fee waiver
Waive the annual fee and covering utility service to property charges for other community clubs tenanted who typically pay annual fees.

Local business supports

Refund/waiver of Local Law Permits
50 per cent refund/waiver of eligible new and existing permits under the Community Local Law for six months from 1 March to 1 September 2020 (includes roadside trading, A-frame and outdoor dining permits).

Refund/waiver of Food and Public Health Permits
50 per cent refund/waiver of eligible new and existing permits under the Food Act and Public Health and Wellbeing Act for six months from 1 March to 1 September 2020 (includes class 1,2 and 3 food business permits and streatrader, accommodation, hair, skin and beauty premises permits).

Waiver of planning advice fees
Waiver of all charges for written planning advice fees for eligible small to medium businesses for six months from 1 March to 1 September 2020.

Fast-tracking Council infrastructure projects
Fast-tracked Council procurement processes to award infrastructure projects sooner to invest funds and provide jobs in the local economy. Additionally, for the next 12 months, the weighting of local suppliers will be increased from 10 to 20 per cent.

Baw Baw Business Grant Program
Launch of a Baw Baw Business Grant Program to assist local business with the impacts of COVID-19. Details and eligibility criteria will be made available soon.

Virtual farmers market
Virtual farmers market free for businesses, makers and stall holders from Baw Baw Shire.

Business support
Direct support, advice and business promotion through Council. Free access to online training, webinars and business mentoring sessions.

Stage-one support timelines

All stage-one support package initiatives have been considered for a six-month period. The package will be delivered with a staged approach to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of the community in this constantly evolving situation. All initiatives will be live by (or before) 1 June 2020.

An additional stage-two support package will be considered in July, pending the status of the evolving situation.

Quotes attributable to Mayor Cr Danny Goss

“We’re proud to launch this $440,000 package to support our community through these unprecedented and tough times.” 

“For local business, we understand the need for immediate financial relief, support to keep local people employed and the need to be dynamic and flexible in the evolving situation. That’s why a huge portion of this package has been dedicated to supporting local businesses - the heartbeat of our community.”

“As always, we encourage all residents, community groups and local businesses who require additional relief to contact Council as soon as possible.”

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