Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has announced Brisbane City Council will waive all charges, rents, levies and permit fees effective immediately for all businesses, as they face economic hardship caused by coronavirus impacts
The $7.9 million business relief package will apply to businesses and council lessees who will have a range of fees and charges waived for the next three months.
There will be a moratorium on fees and charges for footpath and outdoor dining, food safety permits, commercial river moorings, advertising, temporary food stalls, commercial lease rents and commercial stalls, booths and stands. Lease fees for community organisations will also be waived.
“This is about protecting jobs. Brisbane businesses are shedding staff, customer numbers have dropped off and supply chains could be hit when the virus starts affecting more people,” Cr Schrinner said.
“We will do everything we can to support our businesses through this extraordinary time and business charges, rent, fees or permits required to be paid will be waived until at least June 30, 2020. Businesses that have paid these fees since March 1, will have them refunded.
“We will also be refunding all fees or charges for events cancelled due to COVID-19.
“This is about protecting jobs and community organisations, not just the livelihood of business owners.
“Businesses and staff are under enormous strain as the coronavirus impact erodes customer numbers across all sectors, but particularly the hospitality industry.
“Small and large businesses are the backbone of our economy but also one of our biggest employers; and they are staring down financial uncertainty, the likes of which they have never seen before.
“We will reassess the policy once we know the true impacts on the Brisbane economy and workforce after June 30. Also, anyone who has just paid any one of the fees since March 1 will be given special dispensation,” Cr Schrinner said.
Cr Schrinner has pleaded with residents to heed the advice of Queensland Health, ensure you are safe and follow advice, but go about your daily life, shop, dine and support our local businesses.
“Brisbane businesses will rely on people power to soften the economic blow and save local jobs over the coming weeks and months,” he said.
“If we don’t support our businesses now, we may find on the other end of this event they may not be there.
“We don’t want to see businesses going to the wall. Every single resident has the ability to put their hand in their pocket and support our corner shops, restaurants and services.
“Our fantastic health authorities are working hard to contain the impacts of the virus, but every one of us can play a role in reducing the economic impacts.”
In mid-2019, Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner also introduced a new Local Buy procurement policy which aims to lift the number of Council contracts going to local businesses to 80 percent.
For more information visit www.brisbane.qld.gov.au or call Council on 3403 8888.
FEES AND CHARGES DETAILS:
- Footpath dining (fees) – Waived for the period of 1 March to 30 June 2020
- Outdoor dining (malls) – Credit of prepaid invoices for the period of 1 March to 30 June 2020 and Council will not pursue unpaid invoices
- River Pontoon Moorings (bookings)- Credit of prepaid invoices for the period of 1 March to 30 June 2020 and Council will not pursue unpaid invoices
- Advertising (application or license) – No fees for advertising, signs, hoardings and structures for the period of 1 March to 30 June 2020
- Filming (application) – Waive or reduce application fees for filming approval at Council owned or controlled land or assets
- Entertainment venues and events (booking) – Refunds granted for those seeking to cancel their events due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions
- Music venues (booking) – Refunds granted for those seeking to cancel their events due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions
- Food Act 2006 (fees) – Waived or refunded for the period of 1 March to 30 June 2020 – Temporary Food Stalls/Premises (fees) Waived or refunded for the period of 1 March to 30 June 2020
- Standing vehicles, stalls booths and stands – for commercial or promotional activity Waived for small business for the period of 1 March to 30 June 2020
- City Hall (booking) – Refunds granted for those seeking to cancel their booking due to COVID-19
- Community Hall (booking)- Refunds granted for those seeking to cancel their booking due to COVID-19
- Commercial leases – Rent relief for the March to June 30 quarter for retail and tourism sector.