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Media Release - Support for Local Businesses

23rd March 2020

“As small businesses begin to be impacted by the effects of COVID-19 it is important that we support each other and our local businesses to prevent loss of staff or permanent closures” said Cr Jayo the Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) Chair.

We are extremely upset for the business owners who will also suffer from the stringent lockdown laws introduced yesterday and our thoughts and prayers go to the businesses concerned.

Council is encouraging the community to shop and support local wherever possible during this trying time.

Council has existing policies to assist with relief arrangements to support the community upon application, such as rate relief and repayment options.

“We are one week out from an election and inside a caretaker period so Council is not in a position to make major policy decisions for business support for the current situation. That will be a priority task for the new Council” said Cr Jayo.  

Businesses requiring assistance are urged to contact Council on 4776 4600 to discuss options.

“Council is not capable of offering ongoing financial support. That type of financial support is being organised by the Federal Government through the new stimulus packages announced recently” said Cr Jayo.

Business owners are urged to regularly check what support is available from the Federal Government by visiting www.treasury.gov.au/coronavirus.

Council continues business as usual at present with a number of strategies implemented to assist the community and staff through this period. Strategies include increased cleaning and sanitisation of communal areas; continuing important messaging on prevention and mitigation techniques and considerations made for work from home arrangements.

The LDMG remains in close contact with Queensland Health and the LDMG is ready to activate and assist Queensland Health if required.

It is important to note that there is currently no confirmed case of Coronavirus in the district.

In the interests of protecting our staff and with a view to slowing down the spread of the virus, Council encourages the community to avoid attending Council offices to conduct your business without ringing ahead.

Council is able to deal with many community needs and requests by digital means and we ask that you contact us by phone to discuss options in the first instance.

There are no plans at the moment to scale back any service or to close any Council facility, whilst current hygiene protocols are followed. Council’s staff at present believe that good and proper systems are in place for protection of the community and that situation will continue to be monitored closely. Should community members ignore these practical measures, Council will have no alternative but to consider possible closure of further public facilities.

For further information, visit Council’s website Coronavirus (COVID-19) page.

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