Council breaks new ground, endorsing business support package at online extraordinary meeting
Posted on: 07.04.2020
Wollondilly Council is successfully navigating the physical distancing restrictions imposed by COVID-19, using its first ever online extraordinary Council meeting to endorse a business support package to help support local businesses through the crisis.
As the Mayor sat in the Council Chambers to host the meeting on the Zoom cloud platform on Thursday night, other Councillors and executive logged in from their homes and the meeting was webcast for interested community members to watch online.
Mayor Matthew Deeth noted, “Legislative changes to the Local Government Act permits Councils to hold our meetings remotely during these unusual times.”
“This means we can continue to do business and make decisions while observing restrictions on the number of people who can gather together.”
The first stage of the Wollondilly Business Support package was endorsed unanimously at the meeting, with Council keen to do whatever possible to assist local businesses facing the impacts of COVID-19 so soon after being hit with drought bushfires and floods.
The main initiatives to ease the burden for the next six months include prioritising local businesses when planning contracted service delivery, cutting payment terms in half, working with landlords to defer commercial rates and waiving a range of Council fees for small business such as environmental health inspection fees.
Council’s development application fees for small business will be waived and Council will write to the NSW Government asking that all development application fees that are collected on their behalf by Council for small business also be waived.
Rent relief will be offered for small businesses and community groups using council facilities, upon application.
Council will invite a group of local business operators to form the Wollondilly Business Community Taskforce to continue to offer feedback and to help find a way forward.
Mayor Deeth said, “Our small businesses are the lifeblood of our community and this is a great start to help them through a very difficult time. Council will continue to work with the State and Federal government to help businesses survive these next six months.”
The extraordinary meeting can be viewed at https://zoom.us/rec/share/pu9ON6Gq81lLR9LqtRzBU6EEEIHZT6a81CFN-PMFmhtY6SW_qDRfIJVc88kfXJyV