Latrobe City Council helped to create new opportunities for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic by offering Small Business Grants.
Three rounds of grants have resulted in just over $415,000 being given to 79 businesses in towns and communities throughout the municipality.
The grants were valued at up to $5000, plus GST, and were offered from August 2020 as part of Council’s two-phase Business and Community Support Package, worth $1,862,000.
The program has now closed.
The Small Business Grants helped eligible businesses affected by the pandemic to create employment outcomes, generate investment in new opportunities and benefit the community.
The funds could be used for a variety of projects including training and development, marketing and other professional services, as well as the purchase of equipment and building works.
“Council recognised the financial toll the pandemic was having on businesses and the grants were one of many ways Council worked to ease the impact,” Latrobe City Council Mayor, Cr Sharon Gibson said.
“It is heartening to see that with a little bit of help, the successful applicants have been able to adapt and bring their projects to life.
“It is pleasing that Council is able to contribute and support the community in such a positive way, particularly in this time of need.”
Grants were awarded after a transparent, open and well governed process.
Easyaz of Morwell received a grant to buy a printer that enables specialist printing.
General manager Marie Womersley was appreciative of the assistance Council provided.
“Purchasing this printer will enable us to streamline our t-shirt printing process to offer a wider range of design options and a faster turnaround, with a better quality print,” she said.
“This will mean we can produce small and large quantities of t-shirt and garment prints at more competitive prices, and cater for unusual designs and intricate logos.”
A.I.M. Academy, a leading provider of martial arts and self-defence training programs, also received a Small Business Grant.
The grant was for audio/visual equipment to enable martial arts and self-defence classes, courses and workshops to be held online. “This will help us future-proof our business, should there be further restrictions placed on the sports and recreation sector due to COVID-19,” the academy manager and senior instructor Kacey Chong said.