The City of Melville is launching its next round of business support, following on from the $15 million community stimulus package announced last month and in recognition of what has been an unprecedented and challenging time for businesses in Melville and across the nation.
City of Melville Mayor the Hon. George Gear JP said local businesses had been hit hard by the shock and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and while some had been able to adapt and minimise the damage, for most there would be a long and uncertain road ahead towards recovery.
“The reality of this global pandemic is that it is impacting on a very local level. With the Australian Government now seeking to reopen the economy and get Australians back into work, we want Melville businesses to be well positioned for the journey ahead. We understand it won’t be easy,” said Mayor Gear.
“The Federal and State Governments have already provided significantly in terms of stimulus and relief measures and we strongly encourage businesses to access this and find out what they may be eligible for if they haven’t already done so.
“The City’s $15 million stimulus package announced last month also included immediate and longer term relief measures for businesses including a 10% commercial rates relief (on last year’s valuations), reduced costs and fees, as well as waivers/deferrals for those holding leases and loans with the City.
“In addition to the City’s Stimulus Package, we are also reviewing our projects and capital works programs and are looking to have some of them ‘shovel ready’ so that as soon as work can resume again we as a local government are also contributing to an economic boost.
Looking forward, the City has put in place a number of programs and initiatives to provide more support for local businesses.
The City has launched a live business map Support Your Local with the aim of connecting local community to local businesses.
“We invite Melville businesses to drop their pin on the map and let us know they are out there,” said Mayor Gear.
“At the same time we are encouraging the community to use the Your Local map to source local products and services and help keep your local businesses open and local jobs needed.
“The focus on buying local also aligns with the State Governments Support Small Business campaign and assists with keeping communities within their local areas, as part of the overall fight against COVID-19.
The City is also launching its first virtual webinar series Business Care in partnership with the Melville-Cockburn Chamber of Commerce.
“Taking care of yourself as well as your business is critical through these difficult times and that's why we've created the “Business Care” series,” said Mayor Gear.
“Delivered weekly by industry experts, the free online Business Care series will offer quick half hour sessions covering a wide range of topics all aimed at supporting local businesses to work through their recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.”
The City has also partnered with Business Foundations by providing funding to offer free, one-on-one business advisory services.
“We are focused on helping our local businesses to strengthen their operating, financial and marketing position for the coming months and beyond, so depending on individual needs, businesses can opt for one session or a series of three sessions to access tailored advice, ask urgent questions or discuss specific issues,” said Mayor Gear.
“We’ll also be launching a Small Business Grants program in the near future as part of our Happiness Stimulus Package which will have a special focus on getting businesses online and supporting our creative industry, which has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic.
“We hope people take up the opportunity and access these services. A great way of keeping up to-date is through our eNews Business Matters which in addition to City programs and news, also provides information regarding State and Federal assistance and in particular the WA Small Business Assistance Centre.
“By working with many partners we aim to provide meaningful assistance and support to our local businesses and economy and to keep people working in local jobs.
“While a lot of uncertainty remains, we understand that as we start the road to recovery we are all in this together and that your business is our future.”