City of Karratha

City of Karratha Council endorses additional $1.3 million COVID-19 support initiatives

02 Jul 2020

A suite of additional support initiatives to help small businesses and community groups recover from the COVID-19 pandemic were endorsed by Council this week.

Council adopted the COVID-19 Small Business: City Support Package and COVID-19 Community: City Support Package, valued at approximately $3 million, in March. Rio Tinto has contributed an additional $1 million to the City’s COVID-19 support packages.

The packages were designed to provide support and economic stimulus to ratepayers, local businesses and community groups during the peak of the pandemic.

This week Council endorsed a second tranche of nine new initiatives aimed at providing ongoing support to the hardest hit businesses and community groups during the recovery phase.

The new initiatives are:

  • Providing approximately 8500 households with $100 Try Local vouchers to be spent at local businesses, in partnership with the Karratha & Districts Chamber of Commerce and Industry;
  • Providing small business grants of up to $10,000 to local small businesses who can demonstrate significant financial impacts associated with COVID-19;
  • Waiving City fees for hairdressers, beauty salons and tattoo parlours during 2020/21;
  • Waiving the 12.5% commission fee on local tours booked through the Karratha Tourism and Visitor Centre;
  • Providing a 20% discount to City residents who book a local tour through the Karratha Tourism and Visitor Centre between 1 July 2020 and 1 January 2021;
  • Implementing an enhanced 2020/21 capital and asset renewal program with a specific focus on projects likely to be delivered by local businesses;
  • Providing $1000 grants to community-run sporting and arts and cultural groups who spend $2000 at local businesses between March 2020 and June 2021;
  • Implementing an enhanced 2020/21 City arts, cultural and events program to provide increased opportunities to local artists, entertainers and events related local businesses; and
  • Doubling funding for Meet the Street events held during 2020/21.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the new initiatives were valued at approximately $1.3 million, bringing Council’s total support packages to date to $4.3 million.

“To achieve Council’s vision to become Australia’s most liveable regional city, a thriving business sector and well connected community are critical,” Cr Long said.

“Local government has a role to play in supporting ratepayers, local businesses and community groups during these unprecedented and challenging times.”

Council invited community feedback about how they could best support impacted residents, businesses and community groups through a COVID-19 survey in June.

“Respondents ranked tourism as the industry requiring the most support followed by hospitality, health, retail, beauty and hair, accommodation, construction and trade, transport, professional services and administration and support,” Cr Long said.

“Respondents supported Council’s key objectives of a targeted approach to spending, rapid delivery while maintaining transparency and equity, and a collaborative approach to minimise duplication and maximise benefits.”

“In general, respondents had a high level of confidence that the City’s community and economy would bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic quickly, which is pleasing and what Council is striving to achieve as we move towards our ‘new normal’.

Further information about each of the nine new initiatives will be released in coming weeks. Information regarding the City’s COVID-19 response is available at https://karratha.wa.gov.au/coronavirus-information#City%20of%20Karratha%20Support%20Packages or by calling (08) 9186 8555.