Mildura Rural City Council has launched an $800,000 funding program to support local businesses impacted by COVID-19.
The funding forms part of a suite of economic and social initiatives implemented in response to the global pandemic.
Eligible Business Differential Ratepayers can now apply for a once-off Council Rates Credit of up to $2,000, or a Business Grant of up to $5,000. Business owners can use grant funds to invest in their business and adapt to the post-COVID-19 economy by securing professional services or works from preferably other local businesses.
Mayor Jason Modica said supporting local businesses to bounce-back, adapt and evolve was crucial to the region’s ongoing COVID-19 recovery plan.
“This funding is designed to assist businesses impacted by the pandemic and to boost local spending too,” Cr Modica said.
Fifty per cent of local business owners surveyed in November 2020 reported a reduction in revenue due to COVID-19 and many said they had changed their method of service delivery to adapt. Meanwhile 28 per cent said their employment had been impacted. Thirty-eight per cent of business owners raised mental health concerns due to COVID-19.
“A healthy business sector has huge flow-on effects for the wider community. It means more employment opportunities for locals; it means a vibrant and varied offering of goods and services; it means work for other local businesses and it means enhanced overall wellbeing.”
Cr Modica encouraged all local Business Differential Council rate payers to consider applying for funding.
As part of the eligibility criteria applicants must be Mildura Rural City Council Business Differential Ratepayers, have a current ABN and demonstrate that their business was financially impacted by COVID-19 during the July to September 2020 quarter compared to the same time in 2018-19.Applications must be made online via Council’s website and will close on Friday 5 March 2021.
This funding follows a range of other initiatives Mildura Rural City Council has introduced to support local businesses in the wake of COVID-19. This has included rate deferrals, waivers of permit and registration fees for outdoor dining and street trading, food, accommodation and beauty businesses and assistance to set up, expand and enhance outdoor dining spaces.