At the November Council Meeting, it was decided that Council’s COVID assistance for shire businesses will include the waiving of public health registration permit fees for the current financial year, thanks to the combining of two funding streams.
Lease relief to Council tenants in accordance with the Victorian Government direction, is also part of Council’s business recovery support, alongside the waiving of the health permit registration fees of $195,000 (made possible by using approximately $65k of the Outdoor Activation Fund – subject to funding body approval, as well as the COVID Community and Business Support Fund).
Cr Joe McCracken said: “I’m glad to see these funds will be used to benefit as many businesses in our community as possible.”
Cr Chris Potter said he was pleased to support a motion that would, “help mitigate the horrible effects of COVID on businesses and these funds will also help community, sporting and some charity groups who have been busy in the community, such as preparing meals for the less fortunate.”
“This is a really good opportunity to provide relief for both our community after a difficult time, as well as those who come to the region to enjoy it,” said Cr Jamie Bell. “It demonstrates to me the ability we have as a Council to effect change and to help those less fortunate to live well within our region.”
The funding will come from the balance of the $160k left from the COVID Community and Business Support Fund, as well as contribution from the Outdoor Activation Fund provided by the Victorian Government.
“The health permit registration fees have not been invoiced yet, which made it an attractive option for Council because there’s no administrative task to refund fees, yet it also provides relief for businesses who have been hard hit during the lockdowns, such as those in the hospitality, beauty, fitness and tourism industries,” said Errol Lawrence, GM Corporate Services.
While the fee is to be waived, business still need their health registrations and should apply as per usual.