Surf Coast Shire Council’s newly-adopted COVID-19 Recovery Assistance Guidelines outline how businesses and communities will be supported to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
Council adopted the guidelines at its May meeting, following the April adoption of its Draft Budget 2020-21 which proposes setting aside $1 million to help businesses and communities in the COVID-19 recovery period. The new guidelines detail how the proposed allocation will support the local community.
Recovery initiatives may be Council-led or business sector/community-led, with proposals subject to assessment criteria included in the guidelines.
Mayor Rose Hodge welcomed the COVID-19 Recovery Assistance Guidelines, which were developed by listening to the needs of local businesses, trader groups and the broader community.
“A Community Support Team and an Economic Support Team have been created by Council, both of which are gaining valuable insights from the community in the initial relief period,” she said.
“From 381 business surveys, to regular virtual support meetings with locals – we are hearing first-hand from the community about their most pressing needs now and their potential needs during the recovery phase. The Recovery Assistance Guidelines lay the foundations for how we can help meet these needs, whether that’s in the next few weeks, months or even years.”
The guidelines include Council’s intention to deliver initiatives to address highest priority needs and conduct future funding rounds, so businesses and community groups impacted by the pandemic can deliver lasting solutions.
“More details about the funding rounds and application processes will be widely communicated when details are finalised,” Cr Hodge said.
The Mayor believed it was important to highlight initiatives already underway to support the community in this challenging time.
“Council has launched a business mentor program and the Buy Surf Coast campaign, which has been letting people know since March that local businesses have adapted and are still open for business,” she said.
“We’ve also allocated funds to support all local community houses to respond to the pandemic, to support local food relief, and to support community members to access important and up-to-date information in local publications.”
The COVID-19 Recovery Assistance Guidelines are dependent on the adoption of the proposed $1 million support package allocation in the Budget 2020-21, to be considered by Council in June.