Local coronavirus relief package



Northern Beaches Council is considering a range of measures to assist local businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Council held an emergency meeting in mid-March to discuss how it can alleviate pressure on small businesses in the area likely to suffer financially as a result of import restrictions and reduced foot-traffic. 

“This is a tough time for our whole community, but we know our local businesses will be hit particularly hard,” Northern Beaches Mayor Michael Regan tells Peninsula Living.

“That’s why we have announced a package for our businesses, on top of that on offer from State and Federal governments. 

“We want to get them through a this particularly difficult time so that they can keep operating out the other side.” 

At present, the Northern Beaches has the second highest number of businesses of all the local government areas in NSW, behind only the City of Sydney.

As such, Council has proposed permitting an increase in delivery times for supermarket suppliers, relaxing parking requirements to spur take-away pickups and expanding outdoor dining lease areas to allow for customers to dine while practicing social distancing. 

It will also consider waiving several expenses, including outdoor dining fees, food health premises fees and fire safety annual fees for six months, potentially saving small businesses thousands.

Alongside this, Council will investigate offering a Rates and Annual Charges Hardship Policy for those struggling to keep up payments and promote businesses through social media marketing and ‘shop local’ initiatives.

This move is on top of the State Government’s $2.3 billion stimulus package and the Federal Government’s $17.6 billion, both of which prioritised relief for small businesses.

The NSW Government allocated $450 million to waive payroll tax for three months, while the Commonwealth Government is injecting $8 billion to pump up the sector.

Stephanie Aikins, Journalist, Peninsula Living Magazine

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