Al fresco dining measures extended

Outdoor dining at The Entrance

Business NSW Central Coast has applauded the extension of alfresco dining measures for a further 12 months.

Minister for Hospitality and Racing, Kevin Anderson, said the measures enable hospitality businesses to use a range of spaces for outdoor dining, such as parks and car parks, without the need for a separate application.

“The temporary measures have been incredibly successful and a huge boost to the industry, so extending them will give hospitality businesses greater certainty for at least another 18 months,” Anderson said.

He said he would like to see more regional venues take up the opportunity and consider permanent options that reflect the community’s desire to dine outdoors year-round.

“We might be (having) a particularly cold winter, but I doubt that will stop many of us from enjoying ourselves,” Anderson said.

“It’s been great to see so many businesses welcoming back patrons across the state.

Meanwhile, the $5,000 Alfresco Restart Rebate remains available to eligible hospitality businesses and can be used to help offset the cost of outdoor heaters as well as seating and other items.

Business NSW Central Coast Regional Director, Paula Martin, said the extension of the Alfresco Restart Dining package will go a long way to help hospitality business in our town centres accommodate customers in a COVID safe way.

“Vibrant town centres have lively outdoor scenes and these are attractive to local communities seeking to get out and about close to home,” she said.

“The fast tracking of approvals and ability to move to an alfresco environment in private settings give businesses options to serve their customers and create unique experiences.

“It’s important that this process is not hindered by any extra red tape at a local Council level and the experience is easy for business to implement these settings.”

Martin said the region has12 town centres with a range of hospitality venues that could benefit from a rebate of up to $5000 to furnish their expansion outdoors.

“With cashflow the second greatest challenge for business next to staff shortages, assistance with the purchasing of goods needed to serve customers outdoors will help,” she said.

“But businesses have to be quick as it is first in best served so the allocation to the first 5000 businesses will go quickly.”

The temporary alfresco measures are now available until December 31, 2023 and will continue to accommodate voluntary social distancing.

Terry Collins

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