Surf Coast Shire Council has established a COVID-19 Recovery Assistance Grants Program for community and business initiatives.
The grants – forming part of Council’s broader COVID-19 support and recovery package – are designed to support people and businesses to recover from the impacts of the pandemic.
Endorsed by Council at its Tuesday night meeting, the program will include two categories: a Major category and a Rapid Response category for smaller initiatives.
The Rapid Response grants will be up to $5,000 from a total pool of $50,000. The Major grants have no upper limit, but applicants will need to demonstrate higher impacts and greater outcomes.
Both grant categories will be open for applications at all times and will adhere to Council’s COVID-19 Recovery Assistance Guidelines, which were adopted at the May meeting. Applicants will need to work with officers in the lead up to submitting their application.
Council has also allocated $100,000 to five trader groups for locally-designed marketing and business support initiatives:
Torquay Commerce and Tourism: $23,000
Business and Tourism Anglesea: $19,000
Lorne Business and Tourism Association: $29,000
Growing Winchelsea: $17,000
Aireys Inlet Tourism and Traders: $12,000
Further to this, $75,000 will be allocated to Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism for a year-long tactical marketing campaign to promote Surf Coast Shire and its townships as part of a broader Great Ocean Road region campaign.
Surf Coast Shire Mayor Cr Rose Hodge said the grants program would provide much-needed assistance to a range of community projects.
“We’ve been hearing first-hand from the community about their most pressing needs during the recovery phase. This grants program means we can help get a range of community and business initiatives up and running, which are all aimed at supporting our region’s recovery.”
“The Rapid Response grants are designed to provide quick and flexible support to smaller projects, whereas the Major category will help fund larger scale projects.”
Cr Hodge said in addition to the grants program, $175,000 had been allocated immediately to specifically support business recovery.
“Our local businesses have had a really tough time, so the ‘Buy Surf Coast’ message is more important than ever. Council’s contribution to local trader groups and Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism will help us spread this message far and wide,” she said.
The program opens on 25 June 2020 with the deadline for receiving the first round of major grant applications being 20 July 2020.