In line with the recent announcement of the Victorian Government Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package funding, Northern Grampians Shire Council will be providing a raft of fee waivers and support to help local hospitality businesses reopen as they make the transition to COVID-Normal operation.
COVID-Normal is the final stage in the roadmap to reopening. Current Step Three restrictions however allow for restaurants, pubs and cafes to host up to 40 customers indoors and 70 customers outdoors provided the density quota for their establishment allows for this. The State government funding aims to help hospitality businesses adapt their outdoor spaces accordingly.
The outdoor dining support council is providing is:
Permit fee waivers
Any permit fee, including building and planning, will be waived in order to help businesses comply with new outdoor dining rules.
Grant applications assistance
Council will provide support to businesses to apply for other state and federal grants where they are deemed ineligible for the State Government Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package.
Outdoor dining space design support
On-site support will be available to design outdoor dining spaces compliant with state government requirements.
Pop Up Space support
Council will help with permits, planning and support for businesses with Pop Up Dining initiatives.
Takeaway Picnic Rugs
Council will be supplying picnic rugs that hospitality customers can borrow to enjoy their takeaway in outdoor spaces. These rugs can be requested by businesses through council at no cost to business owners and will be ordered on an as-needs basis.
Council acknowledges that these business changes are complex and has appointed a business engagement officer from the Business Team to support the local hospitality industry with planning and implementation of these changes.
Council’s Business Team will help business owners navigate through the myriad of regulations such as compliance with the Disability Act, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation and abiding by Victoria Police Coronavirus rules.
Northern Grampians Shire Council CEO, Liana Thompson, called on all hospitality businesses in the shire to reach out to council regarding this funding and support.
“We know this has been a very difficult year for our region and hospitality is one industry that has been severely impacted by Coronavirus restrictions,” she said.
“The Outdoor Eating and Entertainment funding is a fantastic initiative to help resurrect our once vibrant hospitality sector.
“We are keen to see businesses in that sector take full advantage of the funding on offer and we are here to support them to make the necessary adaptations to boost their trade.
“We wholeheartedly encourage locals and tourists alike to go and dine at our local pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes as they implement these new options for outdoor entertainment in our picturesque shire; it’s such a marvellous time of year to be outside.”
Hospitality businesses are encouraged to contact the Business Engagement Officer on 03 5358 8700 or [email protected]