Waverley Council announces $1 million per month relief package for small businesses

25 March 2020

In response to the economic impact on small business caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Waverley Council has prepared a relief package with immediate short-term support measures to assist small businesses operating in the local government area. The package offers approximately $1 million per month in financial relief that is in addition to the stimulus support packages already announced by the federal and state government. Waverley’s relief package is aimed at helping all small businesses, including those in the retail and hospitality industries, that have been impacted significantly by the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

The support measures in our relief package include:

  1. Relaxed conditions of consent for restaurants to enable trade as takeaway-only services.
  2. Footpath seating fees will be waived as these paths are no longer able to be used.
  3. Health, hygiene, licensing and fire safety inspections fees will be waived to all small business in the local government area. Inspections will still be carried out.
  4. Fee waivers will be applied to outdoor fitness permits and to community markets (such as Bondi Junction Mall, Carl Jeppesen Place and Roscoe St Mall).
  5. On-street parking in commercial centres will focus on infringements where community safety access is a risk.
  6. Mobile vendor licence fees will be waived.
  7. Commercial waste fees and charges to be adjusted to level of service. Customers can also apply for extended credit terms during the pandemic period.
  8. Commercial rent support for small businesses who operated out of Council-owned assets. This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
  9. Council will pay its small business suppliers promptly within 15 days payment terms.
  10. Extended credit on certain fees and charges small businesses owe to Council with a suspension of interest charges.
  11. Financial hardship policy which will review and implement a process for considering applications for other forms of assistance, including deferred rate payments with no interest charge.
  12. Relaxed operating hours for all supermarkets and grocers to ensure a continual supply and restock of products.
  13. Continuation of Council’s current capital works program of over $50 million per annum through to June 2021 to support employment in the construction sector.
  14. Council procurement from local suppliers if consistent with statutory procurement regulations and prescribed delegations.
  15. “Buy Local” publicity campaign via Council communication channels and the Bondi & Districts Chamber of Commerce.

Council’s COVID-19 business response team will monitor and review these measures on an ongoing basis, with the intent that they remain in place until at least 30 June 2020 or until such time that the pandemic restrictions are lifted. The business response team will also try to work with small businesses on a case-by-case basis where possible.

In addition to the above measures, Council has agreed to contract the Bondi & Districts Chamber of Commerce to provide consulting and advisory services to the value of $10,000. As part of this, an ongoing working group has been established to begin planning for medium and long-term relief measures once pandemic restrictions have eased or ended.

Mayor of Waverley, Councillor Paula Masselos, supports Waverley Council’s commitment to supporting small businesses through these unprecedented times.

“Our $1 million per month package will help provide relief for those families who have put their heart and soul into building a small business and serving our community.

“Local business is what drives the Waverley economy and it’s the mum and dad operators who need our support during these overwhelmingly difficult times.

“Waverley Council is committed to helping local business during this unprecedented time of economic hardship, and together we can make it to the other side.

“I strongly urge the community to shop locally where possible and support your local cafes and restaurants that are offering take away options. It is small actions like these that will help our local businesses survive this crisis.

“I also ask the community to make a commitment to support those businesses in the future who are closed temporarily.”

For members of the community who have appropriate skills or knowledge to provide support to local businesses, Council encourages you to contact the Bondi & Districts Chamber of Commerce so that they can direct your support through to various services. Council is also encouraging community members with specific needs, practical ideas or suggestions to get in touch with its business response team. Contact information is listed below.

  • Waverley Council business response team: business@waverley.nsw.gov.au
  • Bondi & Districts Chamber of Commerce: info@bondichamber.com.au

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