The City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters has approved a third assistance package to local businesses impacted by the Omicron variant.
Mayor Robert Bria, who put forward the proposal at last night’s Council meeting, said the combination of the decision by the State Government to open South Australia’s borders (on 23 November 2021) and the emergence of the Omicron variant, has led to devastating impacts on local businesses and their employees.
Under Mayor Bria’s proposal, the Council will:
- give a Discretionary Rebate of the Differential Rate (20%) to all non-residential property owners impacted by the density restrictions introduced by the State Government following the borders opening (i.e. gyms, cinemas, hospitality venues) for the Third Quarter and Final Quarter of 2021-2022
- waive fees for Outdoor Dining Licenses for the period 1 December 2021 to 30 June 2022
- waive all fines and interest charged on the late payment of the 2021-2022 Third and Fourth Quarter Council Rate payments for all non-residential property owners
- waive The Parade Separate Rate for all property owners and businesses impacted by the density restrictions introduced by the State Government following the borders opening (i.e. gyms, cinemas, hospitality venues) for the period commencing 1 December 2021 to 30 June 2022.
“Once again, hospitality, tourism and personal services, such as gyms, are experiencing the most significant impacts with severely reduced capacity limits and patrons simply “staying away”,” Mayor Bria said.
“Over the last few weeks, I have visited a number of hospitality and retail venues in different parts of the City, to listen to traders about the impact of the restrictions and the impact on their businesses.
“The clear message I received is that the current restrictions have created uncertainty, made it difficult to plan rosters, led to reduced hours for staff and is severely impacting on cash flows.
“Hotels, cafes and restaurants are the drawcard of every mainstreet: and when they suffer, the rest of the precinct strip suffers and consumer and business confidence falls away.”
Mayor Bria said that while business owners acknowledged that the Council cannot provide the level of support that the Federal and State Governments can, they nevertheless believe local government has a role to play to offer assistance.
Owner of Pave Café, Rimu Good, said the Council’s relief package was a welcomed initiative.
“Trading in the current climate in relation to constant changes to density and seating, has been our biggest challenge during the pandemic,” he said.
“The financial impact to my business and loss of hours for my staff has been very difficult to navigate as a small business owner.
“With federal aid ending long ago, and a steep rise in cases in SA in recent months, any assistance locally is very welcome and will help us ride out the current restrictions.”
Café Bravo owner, Nick Venditti, said the Council’s third assistance package was “extremely necessary”.
“The current restrictions, density requirements and isolation rules have reduced turnover significantly,” he said.
“Isolation rules are having a far greater impact on business now, compared to previously and it is essential to receive support such as waiving outdoor dining licence – particularly when rules are in place that reduce the number of customers allowed.”
There are 1,859 people who work in the food and beverage industry in the City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters and another 859 people who live in the City but travel to other Local Government Areas to work in the food and beverage industry.