Supporting local businesses through the COVID crisis
Published on 10 September 2020
Mornington Peninsula Shire Council has today released a comprehensive plan to support local businesses struggling to stay afloat due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The Business Support Actions Roadmap is the result of ongoing work with local business groups, chambers of commerce and individual business owners across the Peninsula.
Mayor Sam Hearn said: “We’ve been working intensely with local businesses and we all agree on the need to find every way possible to allow businesses to maximise their revenue over summer.”
“The extension of lockdown has come as a blow to local businesses who’d been pinning their hopes on an easing of restrictions next week and has added further urgency to the work we’ve been doing to support them.
“I want to assure everyone in our community the Shire is doing all it can to support our vulnerable residents and shore up our local economy during this time.
“Our CEO John Baker and I have had numerous conversations with the Victorian Government, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Regional Tourism Board and we will continue to advocate strenuously on behalf of our local businesses.
“Recovery will be a long haul and we will continue to listen to the business community and look at what we can do as a Shire to help accelerate our economy out of this crisis.”
Mt Eliza Chamber of Commerce President Trish Stamp said: Mt Eliza Chamber of Commerce welcomes the Mornington Peninsula Shire’s range of initiatives to support small businesses throughout these incredibly difficult months.”
“In particular, the Chamber is delighted to be working with the Shire and businesses on the creation of temporary ‘parklets’ in shopping precincts to enable cafes and restaurants to expand their outdoor dining.
“These parklets in particular will make a significant financial difference to our small hospitality venues, possibly even saving some of them from closure.”
Roadmap initiatives include:
- Supporting local business by procuring goods and services locally at every opportunity and increasing tender criteria, giving a 30 per cent weighting for benefit to the local economy.
- Expediting payments to active suppliers and contractors wherever possible.
- A Business concierge service, providing a one-stop-shop service for local businesses affected by COVID-19.
- Online business workshops on a range of topics. Since the start of COVID-19 restrictions hundreds of businesses have taken part.
- Providing businesses with virtual online mentoring through the Small Business Mentoring Service.
- Developing a package of shovel ready projects to advocate to State and Federal Government for investment. The package will create 4,771 jobs and deliver projects valued at $320.8 million. Included in the package:
- a new technology park
- recycled water
- The Briars
- the Bay Trail
- community and sporting facilities
- oour homeless people.
- Funding Finder a free online service that enables individuals, businesses and community organisations to easily identify and access funding opportunities from local, state and federal governments, as well as philanthropic grant programs (including COVID-19 funding opportunities) in one place.
- Continuing to keep our business community informed of changes to business restrictions, initiatives and grants and online business resources via our dedicated e-newsletter and business website.
- State Government-issued thermometers distributed to accommodation businesses according to State Government requirements.
- Development of Our Active Peninsula website to promote sport and recreation clubs and businesses encouraging people to get and stay active while in restrictions.
- A new Arts and Culture website, which provides an opportunity for local artists to promote their work and connect with audiences online.