Council supports small business during COVID-19

Thursday 28 May 20 20

More than 230 eligible businesses have received a support grant via the City of Ryde’s Eastwood Small
Business Hardship Fund.

The $500,000 Eastwood Small Business Hardship Fund was established by Council to assist businesses
that are experiencing significant financial hardship since the first case of coronavirus (COVID -19) was
identified in Australia in January.

Eastwood was hi t earlier and harder than most small businesses, with disinformation and rumours leading
to the usually vibrant shopping precinct resembling a ghost town well before social distancing and
lockdown measures were implemented.

Each eligible business that suc cessfully applied for a grant received $1,906, which represented an equal
share of the total funding made available ($450,000) under the Hardship Fund.

City of Ryde Mayor, Clr Jerome Laxale, said Council was committed to helping businesses get through th is
extremely challenging period.

“These suppor t grants will help more than 230 businesses keep their staff employed and keep their doors
open,” Clr Laxale said.

“Crucially, as the economic restrictions start to be lifted, these support grants will help b usinesses get back
on the road to recovery faster.”

City of Ryde Deputy Mayor, Clr Simon Zhou, said the support grants have gone to a range of retail
businesses as well as restaurants and cafes.

“Council has acted quickly in response to the worsening ec onomic conditions and by creatin g a simple
application process we have ensured the support grants have been distributed to the businesses that
really needed them.”

In addition to the Hardship Fund support grants, Council also implemented its Small Business Supp ort
Package this week to support local businesses during the COVID -19 outbreak and assist in business
recovery during the post -pandemic phase.

Under the Small Business Support package more than 40 different fees and charges will be waived for six
months. This includes.

Waiving outdoor dining fees payable by cafes and restaurants
Waiving administration fees payable by food premises
Waiving health inspection, health compliance and fire safety certification fees. The inspections will
still be undertaken during this time.

In addition, Council will also negotiate financial assistance support for café and restaurant owners
operating from Council premises and other commercial tenants of Council. These negotiations wi ll be
undertaken on a case -by -case basis to develop a tailored solution for each tenant and may include rent
waivers, rent deferrals or lease extensions.

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