Byron Shire Council will waive rent and licence fees for some businesses and not-for-profit groups operating out of Council-owned properties for the period from 15 March – 30 June 2020 after they applied to Council asking for some relief for hardship because of the COVID-19 crisis.
Council made the decision at its Ordinary meeting last week.
“This is the right thing to do – plain and simple,” Byron Shire Mayor, Simon Richardson said.
“Travel bans, social gathering and other restrictions imposed by the Federal and State Governments in response to the COVID-19 crisis have resulted in the closure or significant scaling back of some businesses, and this gesture recognises and acknowledges the financial stress being felt by people,” Mayor Richardson said.
“Council will also offering eligible businesses and groups operating out of our properties the option of negotiating payment arrangements for the period from 30 June – 31 October,” he said.
“There will be a scale of relief available according to the commercial status of the tenant and the degree of impact that COVID-19 has had on their operations,” Mayor Richardson said.
With the NSW Government easing some restrictions in NSW from 1 June, Council services that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will resume.
The First Sun and Suffolk Park caravan parks, which are owned by Council and managed by BelgraviaPRO are again operating with some restrictions.
Council’s carparks in Byron Bay, with the exception of Main Beach carpark, have reopened. Main Beach carpark will reopen on 5 June after maintenance and line-marking work is finished.
Council’s offices at Mullumbimby and the Tip Shop at the Resource and Recovery Centre at Myocum are scheduled to reopen on 9 June, with work areas currently being reconfigured and fitted out with screens to ensure the spaces are safe for customers and staff.
Council has also lifted the current suspension on footpath dining for premises that have current approvals in place. Footpath dining was temporarily suspended in March in keeping with the NSW Government’s rules around social distancing and public gathering protocols.
Byron Shire Mayor, Simon Richardson, said as the NSW Government eases restrictions so too is Council, giving local businesses the best opportunities to claw back some of their lost revenue from the last several months.
“This is not a message to people that everything is back to normal but rather this is a step towards adjusting to the new reality that is COVID-19,” Mayor Richardson said.