Wellington Shire Council resolved to allocate $470,000 towards initiatives to support local small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayor Alan Hall said since COVID-19 had hit Wellington, many local businesses have been doing it tough.
Our Council has been working on ways we can assist our local businesses to make it through this latest adversity, after the devastation from the bushfires in January and the worst drought in over 100 years impacting our rural sector.
The package includes waiving of business fees including:
- Portable Advertising Permit fee (12 months)
- Alfresco Dining Permit fee (12 months)
- Roadside Trading Permit fees (8 months)
- Tenancy costs for Council managed commercial properties and four caravan parks (5 months)
- 2021 annual Food and Health Registration fee
- Planning permit application fees for business and/or commercial developments (April-December)
In addition, Council will cover the cost of annual membership for businesses to join their local Business and Tourism Association, including:
- Dargo Business and Tourism Association
- Heyfield Traders and Tourism Inc.
- Loch Sport Business and Tourism Association
- Maffra Business and Tourism Association
- Port Albert Progress Association
- Rosedale Chamber of Commerce
- Sale Business and Tourism Association
- Stratforward (Stratford BTA)
- Yarram Traders and Tourism Inc.
The package also includes a plan for practical support including meeting with businesses directly to assess their needs and provide connections with relevant Government support; the establishment of a social media platform to encourage people to shop locally and a Wellington-based advertising campaign once the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
Cr Hall said he hoped this package would be the first step to assisting local businesses to make it through this rough time.
“We don’t know what the future holds,” he said.
“We know many Wellington businesses have been struggling to keep their heads above water, from the drought to bushfires to the uncertainty of our timber industry and now this pandemic.