Twenty-seven small businesses will share more than $106,000 after Corangamite Shire Council boosted its Small Business Assistance Program with extra COVID-19 recovery funds.
At its monthly meeting this week, Council voted to repurpose an unallocated $56,311 from its COVID-19 Economic Stimulus and Support Program.
Deputy Mayor Jo Beard said Council was pleased to support businesses that together employed hundreds of Shire residents.
“Council is very proud of our Small Business Assistance Program which gives our residents an incentive to start or grow their business and strengthen the wider Shire economy.
“It’s even more important after the difficult year caused by the pandemic. The fact so many businesses are looking to the future is certainly heartening.”
Cr Beard said there were 48 applicants in all, proposing more than $800,000 in total works.
“Interest far exceeded what we had in the Budget, but we managed to re-allocate funding from the COVID-19 Economic Stimulus and Support Package.
“That allowed us to support an additional 13 businesses with their projects.”
Officers will continue to work with any businesses that were unsuccessful to provide feedback, opportunities for improvement, business mentorship and other forms of nonfinancial support.
“It’s incredible when you hear about the dollar terms of what a small amount of money can then be turned into in the long term.
“Even the applicants that missed out were still proposing some great projects and I’m glad to hear that the Economic Development team will continue to work with those applicants to hopefully be in the mix next time around.”