Dining experience takes on a new look – East Gippsland

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Reimagining outdoor dining spaces will provide an opportunity for hospitality businesses to reopen and continue to trade safely within COVID-19 health restrictions.

East Gippsland Shire Council is taking a proactive approach with the local hospitality industry and business groups to maximise these opportunities under the Victorian Government’s Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package.

Chief Executive Officer Anthony Basford said businesses have been hard hit by fires and now the pandemic, but the Victorian Government’s outdoor dining plan as Victoria moves towards ‘COVID Normal’ was an opportunity to showcase the region’s food and wine and support local businesses.

“Our team is supporting and working with businesses to apply for $5,000 grant available to help them pay for practical things that can make outdoor dining a great experience – umbrellas, outdoor furniture, screens and other equipment,” Mr Basford said.

These grants are available for licensed and unlicensed cafés, restaurants, takeaway food businesses, pubs, taverns, bars and clubs.

“The café culture is heading outdoors with a 50-person (10 people per group) cap outside and density limits. We are looking at opening up more public spaces to allow creative solutions to support businesses and events,” Mr Basford said.

“Council staff are contacting businesses to discuss their needs and offer any assistance. Businesses looking to serve alcohol may need extend their ‘red line’ to accommodate additional outdoor dining.

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