Shire launches local business and economic support package

Published on 27 March 2020


The Mornington Peninsula Shire has developed a comprehensive business support package designed to help the local community through the unprecedented effects of COVID-19.

The package includes a range of innovative support initiatives including a Business Concierge Service,  ‘Supporting Local Business’ campaign, advocacy to State and Federal departments, fast tracking of approvals and compliance matters, temporary cessation of  fees and charges, support for local contractors and rate and rent relief options for those in Council properties.

Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Cr Sam Hearn said the COVID-19 pandemic is having a major impact on many businesses with our community.

“Whilst Council acknowledges that the predominant source of funding and support for the economy is at the State and Federal level, there are many actions we can take to support our businesses in light of the fast-changing environment and impacts at a local level”.

“Some of these support measures will immediately put up to half a million dollars back into the business community. Others such as speeding up payments to our suppliers and contractors will inject money into the local economy sooner, assisting with the cash flow, general business liquidity and the ability to keep people employed.”

“We believe this package strikes the right balance of fairness, responsibility, relief and compassion so that we can get through these unprecedented challenges together”.

The Shire will continue to monitor the situation, work with the business community and develop this initiative over the coming months.

The key pillars of this package include:

Business Concierge

A central contact point in the Shire to help guide and assist businesses to obtain the information they need and to help businesses navigate through information, permit and registration processes.

Phone 5950 1000 or 1300 850 600 or email

Business Information

The Shire’s dedicated business website will keep businesses up to date on information from State and Federal Government business initiatives and grants and online business resources. For more information and to sign up for the business newsletter  and regular newsletter for go to We will also be facilitating a virtual forum for business in the near future where we can discuss and listen to peoples’ views about how we can do more and the things that we need to advocate for on their behalf.

Support your Local Business Campaign

Mornington Peninsula Shire is developing a Support your Local Business Campaign to encourage the community get behind local businesses and promote innovative ways businesses are adapting. 

Council will lead this initiative by procuring goods and services locally at every opportunity and has increased tender criteria giving a 30% weighting for benefit to local economy.

Fast tracking of approvals

Council understands that businesses need to diversify in the current economic constraints and therefore we are actively seeking more flexible planning approvals from the State government.

Council will also provide assistance for existing businesses to diversify and provide additional assistance to the assessment of these applications. We commit to fast tracking these change of use applications for businesses to be determined within four business days.

Business Fees and Charges

Council will immediately reimburse 50% (the equivalent value of the next 6 months) of the 2020 registration for each Food and Health premises as many of these businesses cannot currently operate or are operating under restricted arrangements.

As part of the 20/21 Budget process Council will consider options to review, extend, defer or waive commercial and cost recovery fees and permits.Council will use the budget process as an opportunity to further consult with the business community.  Fees to be considered include but will not be limited to:

  • Footpath Trading Permits including display of good, signs and dining facilities
  • Caravan Park registration
  • Food premise registration
  • Health Premise registration
  • Business Directional Signage
  • Commission fee for bookings via Dromana Visitor Information Centre

Suppliers and Contractors

Council will be expediting payments to its active suppliers and contractors wherever possible. 

Rates Hardship Policy

Rates for the 2020/21 Financial Year are not due until 10 February 2021.  Council will review its current Rates Hardship Policy which is available to residential ratepayers and will make it available to the commercial sector. Council has ceased applying interest to all outstanding debtor until at least 30 June 2020.

Rent Hardship for Commercial Tenants of Council Property

All commercial tenants will be eligible for up to a 50% discount on rental payments back dated to 16 March 2020 up until at least 1 October 2020.

Capital Works and maintenance

As part of its efforts to keep money circulating in the local economy and work flowing for the construction and related industries, council will be exploring ways to accelerate programmed maintenance and other works in a number of its facilities while they are closed as a result of complying with public health directions.

All inquiries can be directed to: Phone 5950 1000 or 1300 850 600.

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