Struggling Gold Coast businesses hit hard by the state’s continual snap COVID-19 lockdowns could soon see some form of financial relief.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate has today confirmed he will put a plan to Councillors next week for a ‘Small Business Relief Package’ in a bid to help local traders get through the latest Covid challenge.
The rescue package is being hailed as a multi-million dollar lifeline for businesses, with many claiming the recent lockdown would have been the final nail in the coffin.
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“I hope to be able to introduce further measures to support our small business economy,’’ Mayor Tom Tate said.
“These mum-and-dad operators have put their hearts and souls into their family enterprise… We will do everything we can to help.’”
Mayor Tate said the measures will be debated at full council next Tuesday.
“Next Monday, I will circulate a draft Small Business Relief package to all councillors, in readiness for Tuesday’s Full Council,” he said.
“I have asked our acting CEO to bring forward every measure possible to assist. Councillors will debate these at Full Council.”
It comes after Council last year waived fees for al fresco dining, introduced a rate rebate for owner-occupied residential properties and one-off reduction in commercial rates, established more flexible payment plans for water and rates accounts and waived interest on outstanding fees including film application and development applications.
“These were the 2020 measures and it’s pleasing to know some 2020 support packages are still in place,” Mayor Tate said.
It’s understood some of the measures being put forward in Council’s new relief package include:
- A continuation of the al fresco dining package;
- Parking relief for medical staff in, and around, facilities such as Robina Hospital and GCUH;
- Deferral plans and special arrangements for business operators facing difficulty paying annual licence fees or water/City rates.
“Everything is on the table but it’s important to understand that legislatively, we cannot waive rates on properties. Under State legislation, we are lawfully required to collect rates,” the Mayor said.