Central Coast Council has announced a Community and Business Support Package, which Mayor Lisa Matthews says will “take some pressure off those who are experiencing significant impacts to their services as a result of the coronavirus pandemic”.
“To reduce the burden placed on local community groups and businesses through forced closures, Council has initiated a suite of measures through Phase One of its Support Package, up to June 30,” Cr Matthews said.
“This is an extremely distressing time for business owners and community organisations impacted, and we want to ensure that we do not add to that stress.
“It is important to note that stimulus packages and lockdown measures are changing rapidly, therefore changing the way businesses are operating and have access to funding daily.
“As the situation evolves, we can imagine the impacts will also increase and this is where additional measures may be proposed in Phase Two.
“We understand this will be different for each facility and business.
“At this time, it is important that we look out for each other’s mental health and wellbeing.”
The first Phase of the package will see Council waive or refund: footpath dining, food licence and temporary goods stall/premises fees; fees associated with Health and Building Compliance activities for businesses such as hairdressers, nail shops, and tattoo parlours; lease/licences for Council’s commercial properties which includes cinemas, cafes, gyms and restaurants; temporary event fees and fees associated with the use of parks for events such as weddings, markets and personal training sessions; booking fees for all cancelled events on Council property; costs to community groups for future advertising bookings on banner poles as events have been restricted due to social distancing rules; static and digital advertising booking fees for Central Coast Stadium; leases/licences for Council’s community properties including surf clubs, community centres, land leases, recreation centres, art facilities, cottages and residentials.
Council will also take a flexible approach to parking and other infringements to allow patrons to continue accessing local services.
Fines for dangerous and unsafe practices will continue to apply.
Hirer fees for Central Coast Stadium will also be offered at a reduced rate as the public will not be permitted to enter the venue.
Council will endeavour to use local suppliers where possible and fast-track approval for registered local businesses to be on a list of approved suppliers of Central Coast Council.
Council has also committed to paying local suppliers within seven days of invoicing to mitigate their cash-flow impacts.
Council has put all legal action including letters, calls and recovery activities on hold until May 31.
For customers who can prove genuine financial difficulty, interest on outstanding payments will also be placed on hold until May 31.
Council customers, including businesses and community groups, who are currently experiencing financial hardship can discuss an acceptable payment arrangement for Council bills.
Council will not enforce any conditions on development approvals which limit delivery times to retailers in the municipality.
This includes delivery curfews on supermarket loading bays to help them meet current demand in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Media release, Mar 27
Central Coast Mayor, Lisa Matthews
Central Coast Council website, Mar 31