Council supporting Brimbank business and urging shoppers to ‘Think. Shop. Buy Local.’

Council has rolled out a range of measures to support Brimbank business through the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and will continue to work with businesses to understand the support they need.

Brimbank Mayor, Cr Georgina Papafotiou said supporting Brimbank business is an important part of the Brimbank COVID-19 Response and Recovery Strategy that is guiding a whole-of-council effort to assist local business and residents not just now, but as we recover and rebuild.

‘We know this is a stressful and uncertain time for local business. Our main priority is to support local business effectively, encourage our community to keep supporting local business and advocate for the ongoing needs of Brimbank business through the COVID-19 period and in recovery.

‘Council is working actively on many fronts to support local business through an integrated Business Support and Assistance Response.

‘Our support includes keeping businesses informed about support packages, one-on-one engagement to understand what help they need, assistance and advice to change business models, providing free online business development webinars, and promoting local businesses activity.

‘During this time, many Brimbank businesses are providing their existing services in a different way, through takeaway food options or online, and we encourage our community to support all local businesses.

‘When thinking about what you need, we ask our community to “Think. Shop. Buy Local.” so we can support each other and our businesses in a really practical way,’ Cr Papafotiou said.

Council is also providing a range of financial relief options and will continue advocating to other levels of government around appropriate business recovery priorities.

Key support from Council includes:

  • A new business support and assistance section on Council’s website with useful COVID-19 related business information.
  • Keeping businesses informed through regular e-bulletins and direct communication.
  • Working with food businesses to assist in providing takeaway or alternative service models.
  • Contacting businesses to understand how COVID-19 is affecting them and the range of assistance available. 
  • Changing the annual business development program to online webinars to suit current circumstances.
  • Social media campaigns encouraging our community to Think. Shop. Buy Local.
  • Promoting businesses through Council’s website.
  • Developing a new Brimbank Localised platform to be launched by end of April, for businesses to promote their products and services.
  • Gathering data through a COVID-19 Business Impact Survey, to inform government on action and advocacy for assistance, and short and long-term recovery priorities.
  • Rates and Financial relief measures for business including options such as rates payment plans under Council’s COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy.
  • Streamlining business permit applications.
  • Waiving some business fees and charges.
  • Enabling individual businesses to apply for financial hardship to defer payment of the St Albans and Sunshine special rates although continuing to pay St Albans and Sunshine business associations with funds in advance of collecting proceeds to support marketing and business development activities.
  • Establishing a Brimbank COVID-19 Business Response and Recovery Taskforce to provide advice on supporting local businesses, particularly in recovery.
  • Planning a program to support future business activations and promotions
  • Establishing a business grants program to provide support for businesses in recovery.

For more information please visit Council’s Coronavirus Response and Recovery Strategy page.