Sunshine Coast Council has announced a second package to help local businesses manage the impacts of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and the implementation of the national public health directions.
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor and Local Disaster Management Group Chair Mark Jamieson said this second package, along with the package of measures announced by Council on March 23, are designed to assist local businesses through the global pandemic and to help keep local people employed.
“The pandemic and the national public health directions are impacting right across our community as we move to take every precaution to keep people safe,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Many local businesses – which are the engine room of our region’s economy – are also experiencing difficulties at this time and council is tailoring its support measures to respond to their concerns and to target support where it is needed most.”
The package includes:
- Professional Advice Support Program – offering access to professional business advice from local accounting, legal and human resources firms, to assist local businesses make critical decisions about their operations and their future. This service provides a free initial consultation to businesses that employ up to 19 staff and have a turnover of less than $5 million;
- Information resources – helping businesses transition to operating in this new environment by linking them with local online service providers, video conferencing and IT specialists and providing useful resources;
- Business signage – business signage will be available to support businesses that have to alter their service arrangements such as providing takeaway/delivery signs outside cafes and restaurants and advice to customers on how to access online services;
- Community and commercial lease relief – community and commercial lessees of council properties will be eligible for a rent waiver from March 1 to June 30. Council will contact eligible groups;
- Capital works – up to $3 million in capital works projects will be brought forward to support local jobs and to keep money circulating in the local economy. These works will be on council facilities that have been temporarily closed. Details of projects will be released in the coming weeks.
Mayor Jamieson said the Professional Advice Support Program for businesses would help business owners across a range of industries navigate their way through the information and other support mechanisms available at this time.
“We want to ensure our local businesses are well placed to access the assistance measures available from other tiers of government and elsewhere, which is the key focus of this service,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“In a win-win for the local business community we are drawing on local expertise to deliver a localised service to local businesses.”
Businesses are encouraged to visit council’s COVID-19 business support webpage