Cumberland Council support during Coronavirus crisis
Written by Darryn Capes-Davis on 6 April 2020
Cumberland City Council has announced measures to support local businesses and ratepayers to help manage the economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“What’s happening with the coronavirus emergency is having a devastating effect on our local economy, retailers, restaurants and those who own small businesses,” said Mayor Steve Christou.
“For our 76,000 residential and business ratepayers who have previously done the right thing and paid their instalments on time, I want them to know that if they have a strong track record of paying their rates on time and they are struggling now, we will be waiving late fees or interest charges during the pandemic.
“I know a lot of our local businesses and community organisations are hurting as a result of this health and unfolding economic crisis. We want to do as much as we can to help.
“As a result, Council will waive all outdoor dining licensing fees for the rest of this calendar year, leaving any businesses who have paid up until the rest of this financial year, in credit for future years.
“Council will also ensure that any of its lessees are able to approach us to discuss rent deferral options, to provide them with some certainty over their businesses and their lease arrangements with Council.
“To assist one of our largest employment sectors being the construction industry, Council will defer all Section 7.11 and 7.12 payments that are normally required at Construction Certificate stage for work to commence, until prior to the issuing of an Occupation Certificate on the completion of relevant works or stage of works, without any interest penalty.” This arrangement will stay in place during the period of the COVID-19 crisis.
Any bookings that have been cancelled due to Coronavirus, will be refunded to sporting groups and those who have hired Council sporting facilities or sportsgrounds for the winter season.
Bookings made for any other council venues or facilities that will not go ahead will also be refunded.
Council will write to relevant State and Federal Ministers, seeking financial support for small businesses in Cumberland City. Council will also write to all local State and Federal Members of Parliament seeking their advocacy to ensure local government is included in any stimulus measures.
“Cumberland City Council is not immune to the unfolding economic crisis caused by COVID-19. We are being impacted significantly, with a number of our services not operating at the moment,” said Mayor Christou.
“Regardless of this, our role as a Council is to lead and support our community, and we will do everything within our power to assist our local businesses and residents.
“I encourage people to contact Council or visit our website to see how our services have been affected, what continues to operate and some of the programs we have put in place to navigate these unprecedented times.”
Council is offering a number of programs for small businesses including the following:
- Supporting Shop Local initiatives
- Council’s Scheduled Business Workshop and One-on-one Business Advisory Services will continue through webinar and video/phone; and
- A Crisis Management Webinar is being organised as a collaboration between Cumberland Business Chambers and our Council.
For updates related to Council’s response to COVID-19, visit www.cumberland.nsw.gov.au/covid19