Council launches COVID-19 relief package for community and business

Greater Shepparton City Council is acting decisively to support our community and businesses to lessen the burden of the significant economic consequences of COVID-19. Council has immediately initiated a suite of measures through the introduction of a Stage 1 $1.5 million Greater Shepparton Economic Response to COVID-19 Package.

Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor, Cr Seema Abdullah says “We truly understand members of our community are doing it tough due to the impacts of the COVID-19 emergency, and as a Council we are committed to making life a little easier in ways that we can.”

"This economic support package seeks to build on relief plans and various measures announced by the Federal and State Governments, rather than duplicate their efforts,” explains Mayor Abdullah. “We have a duty to care to our community, and this is why the Package provides funding relief and direct support to our residents, community groups and local businesses.”

“While we recognise that funding relief is important it’s not the sole answer to addressing the complex impacts of COVID-19. For this reason our Package provides actions to strengthen the on-going resilience and capacity within the community, as well as enabling Council to be more agile in its planning, processing and delivery of services.”

“The full local economic and social effects from the pandemic are yet to be fully understood; hence this is the first phase of measures to be undertaken by Council. We will be monitoring the flow of this support and adapt measures as further Federal and State Government restrictions and requirements are announced”, explains Cr Abdullah.

Council’s economic response targets three areas:

Residents

  1. Residential ratepayers are able to enter into a payment arrangement or apply for financial hardship consideration regarding rates. Each case will be assessed on individual circumstances with outcomes customised according to the needs of each case.
  2. No interest will be raised on residential rates from 16 March 2020, the date a State of Emergency was declared, until 30 June 2020.
  3. Extending the due date of Animal Registration Fees to 30 June 2020.
  4. Continue to maintain a vulnerable person’s register as described by the Department of Health and Human Services. The Pandemic Co-ordination Group will also work with partner agencies to assist the most vulnerable in our community.
  5. Council staff will be allocated to assist community agencies where their services are in great demand such as Shepparton FoodShare.

Community Groups

  1. Waiver rent/fees for community and sporting groups for Council owned land/grounds for from 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2020.
  2. A reduction in rent by 50% for tenants of Council owned buildings or facilities from 1 March, 2020 to 30 June 2020.

Businesses

  1. Business ratepayers are able to enter into a payment arrangement or apply for financial hardship consideration regarding rates. Each case will be assessed on individual circumstances with outcomes customised according to the needs of each case.
  2. No interest will be raised on business rates from 16 March 2020, the date a State of Emergency was declared, until 30 June 2020.
  3. Waiving of building and planning permit fees relating directly to the COVID-19 emergency until 30 June 2020.
  4. Waiving outdoor dining permit fees for 12 months (this will apply to the 2020/21 financial year). Registration renewals will be sent in April 2020). Businesses need to renew their permit and provide the applicable Certificate of Currency for $20 million.
  5. Waiving Goods for Display Permit fees for 12 months (this will apply to the 2020/21 financial year. Registration renewals will be sent in April 2020). Businesses need to renew their permit and provide the applicable Certificate of Currency for $20 million.
  6. Waiving Advertising Signs (A-frame) permit fees for 12 months (this will apply to the 2020/21 financial year). Registration renewals will be sent in April 2020). Businesses need to renew their permit and provide the applicable Certificate of Currency for $20 million.
  7. Reduced cost of food premises and health premises registrations for 2021 (registrations are currently paid in advance for the calendar year and renewals are sent in November 2020). This would come into effect from November 2020 for eligible business impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  1. Facilitate and fast track development applications where possible to assist businesses attempting to diversify, adapt or expand.
  2. A Small to Medium Businesses COVID-19 Quick Response Grant for up to $3,000 to facilitate transitioning to online and e-commerce activities.
  3. Development of a Small Business Expert Support Program to support local small business owners and staff to identify and deliver relevant training and development activities to assist them to adapted to changing work practices and models. This enables businesses to articulate and define their own needs and ideas for support and recovery.
  4. Development of a suite of virtual seminars to support local business through the COVID-19 pandemic, providing information and advice on deciphering Government assistance packages, adapting and innovating business models in response to the rapidly changing environment, and health and well-being support and advice.
  5. In partnership with Grow Greater Shepparton, Committee for Greater Shepparton, Shepparton Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Shepparton Show Me, Tourism Greater Shepparton, Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Project and Goulburn Murray Community Leadership Program, develop a Business to Business portal to support local business as part of the Greater Shepparton Response initiative.

 Advocacy

  1. Continue to lobby the State and Federal Governments (including to the Federal Treasurer) to increase and expedite Federal Assistance Grants to allow local Councils to provide targeted rate relief for residents and businesses.
  2. Partner with State Government to identify the most efficient process for our community to access upcoming State funding programs.

For further details on the Package please go to COVID-19 PACKAGE

 

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