Local Government can do more to help businesses survive
22 Mar 2020
The Sydney Business Chamber says Local Councils right across Greater Sydney can play a critical role in assisting local businesses stay afloat by suspending or deferring the many fees and charges, reducing red tape and other measures to make it easier to do business during these unprecedented times.
“Federal and State Government have been doing the heavy lifting with targeted stimulus packages, but Local Government can also assist by making it less costly and easier to do business,” said Katherine O’Regan, Executive Director of the Sydney Business Chamber.
“Measures like suspending and deferring rates and other charges including fees for regular health inspections and rubbish removal are all ways councils can help local businesses to keep trading and keep people employed.”
“Councils could follow the lead of Newcastle Council that recently dropped footpath dining and retail outdoor trading fees, which in some Sydney suburbs can cost up to $600 per square metre. This would assist restaurants and cafes to comply with social distancing rules by expanding outdoor eating areas and encouraging more people to dine and feel safe.”
“Councils could also consider reducing rents for small businesses in buildings they own and waive parking restrictions and fees along shopping strips to encourage people to shop locally.”
“By reducing payments times from 30 to 7 days for their service providers like rubbish removalists, would keep these contractors’ turnover ticking over more quickly.”
These are relatively small measures in comparison to the billions being rolled out Federally to assist small business, but at the moment, anything that helps businesses stay afloat is important for employment and for the recovery phase when it begins.”.”
“The DA lodgement process could also be streamlined with associated costs cut to encourage investment in building for the future, keeping tradespeople and others employed.”
Media contact: David Peters 0413 872 491