Virtual summit to support businesses affected by COVID-19

A virtual Business Support Summit will be hosted by the City of Melbourne to assist businesses affected by the COVID-19 virus.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the summit will give stakeholders the opportunity to  share their stories on the financial, operational, legal and social impacts of COVID-19 on their businesses and our city, and share advice from experts on what support is available.

“Melbourne is facing one of its greatest economic and social challenges in generations and our business community is suffering,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Small to medium enterprises make up the majority of businesses in our city and find it the most difficult to access information and support during these confusing and challenging times. This summit is about sharing information and taking action to support business owners and their works.

The summit will be live-streamed between 10am and 12.30pm on Thursday 16 April 2020.

Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood said the summit is one of a raft of initiatives from the City of Melbourne to support local businesses.

“We’ve announced $5 million in grants for small to medium sized businesses, and $2 million for artists and creative organisations, to help provide immediate support,” the Deputy Lord Mayor said.

“We’ve also launched our COVID-19 Business Concierge Hotline service; waived permit fees; cut rent by 50 per cent for tenants in Council owned buildings and introduced a Rates Hardship Policy. This is all about ensuring businesses survive the coming weeks and months.”

The virtual Business Support Summit will address:

  • The current state of the COVID-19 virus including impacts, trends and global lessons;
  • Helping businesses to access packages to survive and maintain staff during this COVID-19 period including the support available from the City of Melbourne, Federal and State Governments, mental health and wellbeing support;
  • Providing an opportunity for virtual Q&A.

Chair of the City of Melbourne’s Small Business, Retail and Hospitality portfolio, Councillor Susan Riley, said the summit would work through the real actions businesses can take now.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of Melbourne and they need our support,” Cr Riley said.

“Our local businesses are looking to us for action and that is what we are doing. It’s vital that we prepare Melbourne businesses now so they’re in the best position to strongly rebound once we enter the recovery phase.”

Businesses interested in participating in the virtual summit can register for this FREE event and view the live-stream on the City of Melbourne website, or participate via social media.

Stakeholders involved in the summit include the Victorian Government, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer and the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

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