Support for Lake Macquarie businesses


Lake Macquarie City Council has announced a package of measures aimed at supporting the community and local businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The support package, endorsed by the council at Tuesday’s extraordinary meeting, includes scaled rental relief for businesses leasing council premises for a period of up to six months and updates to Council’s Financial Hardship Assistance Policy.

Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser reaffirmed the council’s commitment to doing what it could to ease the economic impact of COVID-19 on the community and businesses locally.

“COVID-19 has dramatically changed the way we live,” Cr Fraser said.

“We continue to work through this together, but there are sections of our community and businesses that are hurting.

“This relief package is one way that council can help soften some of the impacts and make life a little bit easier for people.”

Lake Macquarie City Council’s community and business support measures to be introduced include rent relief programs; financial hardship assistance measures; and a program to enable council staff to assist community-based organisations to help deliver critical community services.

“There has been a lot of hard work that has gone in to developing these measures and it’s wonderful that we can now begin to put them in place,” Cr Fraser said.

“This is a tough time for our whole community and these measures, including the updates to Council’s Financial Hardship Assistance Policy, will benefit residents, businesses and many community organisations delivering essential services to vulnerable communities.

“We also know that our local businesses will be hit particularly hard.

“We have more than 13,000 businesses operating in our city, 98% of which are small businesses.

“They are feeling the impacts and there is no short-term fix for the current crisis, so that’s why the relief package will be in place for up to six months.”

Most of the measures will be made available immediately, with the exception of the proposed rent relief package for Council’s commercial and residential tenants.

This measure is required to be exhibited for 28 days and, once it has been endorsed by the council, it will be backdated to 1 April 2020.

If residents, businesses, or landlords are experiencing financial hardship, or have recently been stood down and have had their income reduced or ceased as a result of COVID-19, they may be eligible for the Council’s Financial Hardship Assistance.

For more information or to apply visit Lake Macquarie City Council’s website.