Council's third economic stimulus package delivers financial relief and in-kind support for community groups
Council has adopted a third economic stimulus package that will benefit Scenic Rim businesses and community groups that have been impacted by the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chair of Local Disaster Management Group and Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen said the package includes a range of measures including financial relief with a reduction in specific licence fees, deferred infrastructure charges, discounted development applications, and has reaffirmed Council's commitment to buy local.
"Here in the Scenic Rim, the retail, tourism and hospitality operators have been hit the hardest, and we want to see them flourish once again, that is why we're reducing licencing fees for food premises," Cr Christensen said.
"This third economic stimulus package aims to minimise the long-term impacts on our local economy and provide a foundation for its recovery.
"We have also extended the types of in-kind support Council will provide, opened up access to an external counselling service for business owners and their employees, and most importantly, have tailored a Community Grants program to provide COVID-19 specific community stimulus funding.
"This package has specifically recognised how COVID-19 has affected our more than 300 community organisations and their ability to operate, restrictions and lockdowns have reduced their fundraising opportunities and impacted their delivery of services to the community.
"From 22 September until 20 October, community organisations will be able to apply via Council's SmartyGrants portal for up to a maximum of $1,500 in funding to offset some of the financial loss and hardship experienced due to COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions.
"Council will fund this third economic stimulus package with proposed amendments and allocations from the 2021-2022 Budget, and via forecast reductions in income from waiving certain fees and charges, and Councillors unanimously agreed it will be money well invested," he said.
Key initiatives of the Scenic Rim Economic Stimulus Package 3: COVID-19 include:
Assistance for Scenic Rim community organisations
- COVID-19 Community Grants of up to a maximum $1,500 will be available to eligible community organisations that can demonstrate financial loss or hardship resulting from the impacts of COVID-19
- Access to the four-week 'Back on Track Program' - an online support program delivered by industry experts who specialise in working with not-for-profit organisations
- Subsidised venue hire at Council's cultural and community centres plus waste subsidies for community events hosted in the Scenic Rim
- Access to a Scenic Rim Event Workshop to provide community groups and businesses with the tools to successfully plan for events to start safely and effectively.
- Flexibility in the timing for the acquittal process for Council's Community Grants program. If COVID-19 has impacted an organisation's ability to acquit a grant, Council will provide support and ensure that applicants aren't disadvantaged in future funding rounds.
Assistance for Scenic Rim small businesses
- Discounted Code Assessable development applications (Cat 1 and 2) for new or changing business (up to 50% to a maximum of $3685.50) for business pivoting in response to COVID-19
- Suspension of Infrastructure Charges for new developments (on request and not including subdivisions) up to 31 December 2021 to assist new businesses with cashflow control.
- Access to a free professional and confidential counselling service for local business owners and operators and their employees who have been impacted by COVID-19
- Council will guarantee 50% payment for its 'Be Healthy and Active Program' providers if Council cancels an event, so they can have confidence in this community program
- Access to a Grant Writing Workshop to assist local businesses with tips and techniques around writing successful grant applications and navigating this environment
- Access to a Scenic Rim Event Workshop to provide local businesses and community groups with the tools to successfully plan for events to start safely and effectively.
- Council will require quotes from up to two local businesses as part of its procurement activities on goods and services that are obtainable within the Scenic Rim.
- Events Sponsorship Funding continuing for existing allocated support for events that have been postponed
- Reduction in licence fees for food premises and other applicable local law licences.
For businesses requiring more detailed information about how they can access the initiatives in the Scenic Rim Economic Stimulus Package 3: COVID-19 please contact Council's Regional Prosperity Team on email email@example.com or call (07) 5540 5111.
For community organisations, grant guidelines and information about how to apply for the COVID-19 Community Grant Program will be available on Council's website from 22 September 2021 at www.scenicrim.qld.gov.au/community-grants.
For community organisations requiring more detailed information about how they can access the initiatives in the Scenic Rim Economic Stimulus Package 3: COVID-19 please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (07) 5540 5111.