Responding to COVID-19

Published on 07 April 2020

An initial comprehensive economic support package to support all affected by COVID-19 was unanimously approved by Council on 6 April 2020

The economic support package responds to needs of ratepayers, businesses and the local economy and is based on 5 principles:

  1. providing strong, targeted and immediate support to ratepayers, residents and businesses that are most impacted
  2. supporting the broader local community
  3. maintaining our key services and infrastructure delivery to the community
  4. ensuring we are well positioned to support Victorian and Australian Governments through the recovery phase of this crisis
  5. maintaining the long-term financial sustainability of the Council.

The Mayor, Cr Alison Champion and Deputy Mayor, Cr Rick Garotti explain the key elements of our support package.

Economic support package

Business support

Refund street trader permits fees paid in advance 

Refund any fees paid in advance for the April to June 2020 period, for traders directly affected by stage three restrictions.

Waive Street Trading Permit fees

Traders directly affected by stage three restrictions will not have to pay for a 2020/2021 Street Trading Permit.

Rent relief for tenants in Council buildings 

Tenants in Council owned buildings impacted by stage three restrictions will receive rent relief from April to September 2020.

Waive Health Act Registration fees 

Traders directly affected by stage three restrictions will not have to pay a fee for 2020/2021 Health Act Registration.

Cover business contributions for special rates and charges

Provide additional funding for the special rates and charges scheme by paying the business contribution for 3 quarters, from April to December 2020. 

5 business day payment terms

Immediately introduce 5 business day payment terms for all suppliers until at least 31 December 2020.

Support when restrictions are lifted

Investigate the opportunity to provide further community-driven assistance to our local businesses to support them in the recovery phase of the emergency as restrictions on social distancing begin to be removed.

Business grants program boost

Provide additional grants to assist businesses moving online to: 

  1. Sell products online and receive payments; 
  2. Open businesses to new markets; 
  3. Increase brand awareness through digital marketing; 
  4. Website design and development

Extend professional business counselling service

Expanding the reach of Banyule's Employment Assistant Program (EAP) by an additional 100 hours so that small and medium size business owners in Banyule can access this professional counselling service.

Increase Council's business support and advice capacity

From July to December 2020 we will increase our ability to:

  • provide one-on-one support and advice for small and medium size businesses
  • assist businesses who are not members of a Trader's Association

Training subsidy increases

Increase subsidised training offering to cover digital solutions across mentoring, workshops and webinars.

Shovel ready infrastructure project fast track

Consider opportunities to fast track "shovel ready" local infrastructure projects that will stimulate local construction activity.

Community group support

Waive fees, charges and rent for 6 months

For all local community groups, where applicable for Council tenants, for 6 months starting 1 April 2020.

Investigate opportunities to provide further assistance 

Investigate ways we can assist community groups, particularly those providing much needed advice, advocacy and support services. A report on opportunities is to be presented to Council as soon as practical.

Ratepayer support

Defer rates for ratepayers experiencing financial hardship 

The deferral could apply for up to 15 months, for instance, from the last quarter of 2019/20 to the 4th quarter of 2020/21. 

Deferral requests will consider the individual needs of ratepayers.

There will be no interest charged for the period of the deferral.

Apply to defer your rates payment

Other avenues of support 

We are investigating other ways to support ratepayers under significant financial stress due to impacts from the coronavirus situation. A report will be presented to Council as soon as practical.

Extension on animal registration renewal fee

New due date of 10 June 2020 for all registration renewals. 

Option to extend deferral of fees or apply concessions based on individual requests and consideration of associated needs.

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