More than 1300 businesses will receive a 50 per cent discount to their 2020/2021 licence renewal fees as part of Logan City Council’s efforts to support Logan through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The discounted fees – valued at approximately $500,000 – are included in a second stage of Council’s COVID-19 relief package through the 2020/2021 Budget to boost the city’s recovery from the pandemic.
Mayor Darren Power said Council recognised the pressure being put on small business operators and Council’s Budget would have a ‘fair dinkum’ COVID-19 support component.
“In March, as COVID-19 was becoming a massive issue across the globe, Council introduced a $530,000 package of proactive measures to support residents, community groups and businesses through the immediate economic and social impacts,” Cr Power said.
“As part of that first stage, Council has already refunded more than $275,000 to more than 900 businesses for licence fees paid in 2019/2020, and we are continuing to process refunds to eligible businesses.
“Additionally, 143 new businesses have applied for licences since March 1 with no fees charged, which has left more than $105,000 in our local economy.”
City Governance Committee Chairperson, Councillor Lisa Bradley, said supporting business through tough times was a priority for Council.
“It’s unfortunate that many of the businesses that are required to be licenced were also the hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions because of the nature of their operations,” Cr Bradley said.
Licenced businesses include food businesses such as cafes, takeaways and restaurants, as well as water carriers, food stalls, food trucks and vans, markets, hotels, motels, plastic manufacturers, metal coaters, caravan parks, camping grounds, commercial swimming pools, tattooists, cosmetic tattooists, body piercers and roadside food vendors.
The majority of licences are due to expire on August 31, and Council will issue renewal notices to licenced businesses from July 1. Businesses must submit all renewal paperwork and pay the discounted fees by the due date to ensure their licences remain current.
Council’s first COVID-19 relief package had also included:
• an additional interest-free period for the April-June quarter rates and charges notice to September 30
• extending Council’s existing hardship arrangements for residential property owners to all ratepayers
• a 14-day payment time for Council contractors
• three months of lease fees waived to external operators engaged to manage Council-owned venues
• annual lease fees for not-for-profit organisations who lease a Council community leased facility waived for 2020
• increased remissions for organisations operating from a Council community leased facility (and with no or less than 15 gaming machines) to 100 per cent for the January to March 2020 billing period
• financial relief for more than 180 sport, recreation and community organisations within Logan that have memberships in excess of 40,000 people, through lease fee waivers.
“Stage two will include further practical ways that Council can show its support for our city, and I look forward to sharing those details soon,” Cr Bradley said.
Council will adopt its 2020/2021 Budget on Monday, July 20.