Council to consider allocation of funds for broader business support package

Ballarat City Councillors will consider allocating the remaining funds from its $1 million Community and Business Support Package Grants Program, to help fund a series of initiatives to support our community and businesses over the coming months.

The funds would be in addition to Council’s current outdoor dining reactivation budget and the newly announced State Government COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Fund for councils for initiatives to support industries severely impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.

The new Support Package would allow a comprehensive program of measures to assist Ballarat’s hardest-hit sectors, encourage the community to enjoy being outdoors in our city and entice visitors to Ballarat to boost our visitor economy.

City of Ballarat CEO, Evan King said the hospitality, tourism, and entertainment/creative sectors, personal services sectors (fitness, recreation and beauty services) and some retail sectors have been identified among the hardest hit throughout the pandemic in terms of a decline in consumer spending.

“We will inevitably face new challenges as we manage living with COVID-19 in this next stage of the pandemic,” Mr King said.

“The City of Ballarat will continue to monitor the situation, adhere to the Victorian Government’s directives and respond in a way that supports all of the Ballarat community to navigate this much anticipated reopening of the state.”

It is recommended Council allocate funds from the $1 million Community and Business Support Package Grants Program, as a contribution towards a broader package of 2021/22 COVID Recovery support for Ballarat in the following way:

• $100,000 for continued Community and Business Support grants (as per the current scheme, until allocation is exhausted)

• $135,000 for a further round of footpath dining infrastructure (wind protection screens and umbrella sockets, estimated to assist more than 20 businesses)

• $75,000 for a summer tourism marketing campaign into local, regional, and metropolitan markets

• $300,000 towards activated ‘pop up’ outdoor performance space over the summer period, supporting community groups, local and national performances and entertainers

• $140,000 plus towards a program of local music, performance, entertainment, and creative activity in a variety of outdoor public spaces across Ballarat over the warmer months

A report will be presented to Council for consideration at the October 27 Council meeting.

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