COVID Support Packages
The City understands that the COVID-19 global pandemic has impacted small business owners.
Small business development is critical to Council achieving its vision to become Australia’s most liveable regional City, and at a Special Council Meeting on March 30 Council endorsed a range of measures aimed at providing support and economic stimulus to small businesses.
The COVID-19 Small Business: City Support Package includes the following initiatives:
Establishing a network of City officers to provide one-on-one support to businesses to access advice and information regarding State, Federal and other support initiatives available;
Modifying the City’s Financial Hardship (Rates Relief) Policy to provide increased access to debt write off for businesses;
Freezing rates and existing City fees and charges in 2020/21 (zero percent increase);
Implementing opportunities to spend additional City resources on local suppliers and contractors;
Allocating up to $100,000 to implement an online portal and social media advertising campaign to encourage spending at local businesses;
Small business tenants of City properties will not be charged rent for six months; and
Providing lenient and compassionate terms to City debtors.
Please note that for the purpose of this support package ‘small business’ is defined as a company with an annual turnover of less than $5 million.
City support for individuals
The COVID-19 Small Business: City Support Package provides support for individuals experiencing financial hardship in the following ways:
Modifying the City’s Financial Hardship (Rates Relief) Policy to provide increased access to debt write off for individuals;
Freezing rates and existing City fees and charges in 2020/21 (zero percent increase); and
Deferring the collection of rates from all ratepayers excluding schedule (bulk) ratepayers from August to November 2020 (three-month extension).
City support for community groups and organisations
At a Special Council Meeting on March 30, Council endorsed the COVID-19 Community: City Support Package, which includes the following measures aimed at supporting community groups and organisations:
Establishing a new COVID-19 Community Group Assistance Fund;
Allocating $250,000 from the Biannual Community Grant Scheme to the COVID-19 Community Group Assistance Fund; and
Providing grants of up to $25,000 per community group or organisation via the COVID-19 Community Group Assistance Fund.
A suite of additional support initiatives to help small businesses and community groups recover from the COVID-19 pandemic were endorsed by Council on June 30. Rio Tinto has contrinuted $1 million to support Tranche 2 initiaitves.
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 (applications closed 31 July);
- 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.
Full details of these initiatives can be read in the June 2020 Council Minutes
By August 10, all households should receive a letter with instructions on accessing $100 to spend on local businesses. This initiative is in partnership with Karratha & Districts Chamber of Commerce and Industry, more info can be found here.