Council offers support to businesses as Ballarat re-opens its doors

As Ballarat emerges out of lockdown, the City of Ballarat is taking steps to ensure businesses can trade to maximum numbers as we follow the roadmap out of COVID-19.

The City has been actively working with community leaders, government and business operators through recent forums to determine what additional outdoor dining and retail trading opportunities Council could support over the coming weeks and months to keep businesses open.

“We know many businesses, even those who chose to remain open, have struggled through this latest lockdown, and we don’t want to assume we know the answers,” CEO Evan King said.

The City has reached out to more than 2000 businesses through an online survey, to identify any new concepts and ideas they would like to see shape outdoor dining and trading options.

“Our initial focus is on hospitality to understand what we can do now to assist as many people as possible to trade within restrictions. For hospitality, this is primarily about facilitating outdoor dining caps per venue until we reach 70% vaccination,” Mr King said.

“We are particularly keen to receive the feedback from the survey so that we can start to plan and implement any strategies and infrastructure that will assist all our sectors to trade to capacity.”

To assist the recovery process, the City is offering:

• Access to Council-owned outdoor spaces and parks for commercial fitness programs, outdoor trading and dining

• Consideration of additional wind protection barriers and umbrella sockets for hospitality venues to extend their dining footprint, funded by Council

• Waiver of outdoor trading fee for retailers from Monday 27 September

• Waiver of food act registration fees until 30 June 2022 for local restaurants, cafés and other food service businesses

• Waiver of Public Health and Wellbeing registration fees until 30 June 2022

• Waiver of outdoor dining permit fees until 30 June 2022

• Waiver of A Frame signage permit fees until 30 June 2022

• Extension of the COVID-19 financial hardship policy to assist businesses and individuals who are experiencing financial difficulties during the 2021/22 financial year

• Re-establishment of the Business Contact Centre. Our team engages with local business to assist them to access available federal, state and local funding programs and facilitate other assistance available

Support Grants still available

Impacted business operators, community groups and sporting clubs are being urged to make applications to Council’s $1 million Community and Business Support Package, which still has eligible grants available.

There has been a range of applications for the grants program including from the hospitality, trades, fitness, accommodation, health and beauty industries.

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