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Latrobe Local News:
Supports endorsed for almost 700 local businesses and over 100 sporting clubs and community groups in recognition of the adverse impact COVID-19.
By Portal Admin - 30th April 2020 - Back to News
Latrobe City Council has endorsed a range of significant supports for almost 700 local businesses and over 100 sporting clubs and community groups in recognition of the adverse impact COVID-19 is having on Latrobe’s community and economy.
A short-term Business and Community Support Package, funded from the current budget, will be immediately implemented.
"Councillors conducted a business roundtable last week to gain feedback from local business associations as to what measures may immediately assist," Cr Clancey said.
"Many of the measures in this package are what we have been hearing from local business. We want to make sure we stay connected to our business community so that we can assist them where they need it."
The package will see Council pay all outstanding invoices to local businesses and suppliers on 14-day terms, rather than the usual 30 days, in order to boost much-needed cashflow while street trading and outdoor permit charges from 1 March until 30 June 2020 will be refunded.
Health registrations, also for the March-June period, will be refunded for Latrobe Cityowned and/or operated small to medium businesses who have been impacted by restricted activity directives from state and federal governments.
Further support measures include rent reductions for café and restaurant tenants in Council-owned buildings until in-house dining restrictions are lifted.
Sporting clubs using Council-owned grounds and buildings will benefit from a waiver of rent or fees for the 2020 winter season. Other community groups using Council-owned lands and buildings will have their rent amount equivalent to the March-June 2020 period, suspended.
"Assistance in navigating through a large volume of information seems to be an issue for a number of businesses," Cr Clancey said.
"We are here to help business with that additional mechanisms would be initiated to assist businesses in accessing important information regarding other support grants and programs."
This includes the establishment of a ‘Business Help Desk’, using Council’s contact centre number as the gateway, and the preparation of a COVID-19 newsletter to be circulated fortnightly to Council’s business database. The COVID-19 business grants and programs page on Council’s website will also continue.
Cr Clancey said a COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy would be developed by Council and this would include any necessary consideration of rates, fees and fines for local businesses.
"While local government has limited financial capacity to develop some of the larger-scale supports required by local businesses, we are committed to exploring all opportunities within our remit and providing robust advocacy for continued economic stimulus support from the state and federal Governments," he said.
Regular updates for businesses are provided on Council’s website at www.latrobe.vic.gov.au and via ongoing business e-newsletters and social media.
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