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Practical boost for businesses

Friday 13 March 2020

Eurobodalla’s cafes, retailers and accommodation businesses stand to benefit from a $250,000 bushfire recovery boost approved at this week’s council meeting.

Fees for outdoor dining licenses, food premise inspections, pool inspections and event licenses will be waived for six months, keeping money in the pockets of small business owners.

The funding was provided jointly by the NSW and Australian governments to all bushfire-impacted councils for community and economic recovery.

Mayor Liz Innes said small businesses affected by the loss in tourism trade over December and January are struggling and this funding was targeting them.

“When small business hurts, the whole community hurts,” she said. “As we keep hearing, it’s these businesses that seem unable to get government assistance or they give up because the process is just too difficult.

“This is tangible and targeted assistance that will directly benefit local businesses who would normally pay these fees. While the amounts aren’t huge, it is money that can now stay in the pockets of those business owners.

“These are regulatory fees that cost Council so the government funding allows us to absorb those costs for six months and give our businesses some respite.

“They’re true cost savings and a practical way of giving money back to business owners that requires no effort from them.”

A further $20,000 will be used to support the whole community with free internet at the shire’s three libraries for twelve months, while each of the five business chambers will receive $5,000 to fund an event or program to benefit the business community.

Clr Innes said these measures form part of Council’s evolving business recovery plan, and there’s more to come.

“Bringing visitors back to Eurobodalla and targeting new visitors for Easter and winter is a key focus right now, and next month we go live with a new campaign to invite friends and relatives to visit Eurobodalla under our All Kinds of Natural brand.

“Support for events, product development and business development are another focus and we’re looking at the best ways to maximise the government funding on offer to supplement our own budget.

“Also on the list is leveraging opportunities with peak business groups like Biz Rebuild, who are doing incredible work here in Eurobodalla, and making sure the NSW and Australian governments understand the needs of our business community.”