More business relief could be on the way
MORE assistance packages could be in the pipeline for businesses in Livingstone Shire with the council working on new ways to help operators survive the coronavirus pandemic.
Mayor Andy Ireland said councillors were assessing the possible rollout of more relief on the back of Livingstone’s recent $750 subsidy to assist businesses with online sales and marketing.
“We’re looking at what assistance packages we can provide to the business community, and the community as a whole,” Cr Ireland said.
The mayor said a report was presented to councillors at a recent briefing session and they had been sent away to do some homework.
“That will come back to another briefing session and from there it will go through to a council meeting (for possible adoption),” Cr Ireland said.
“We’re looking at what can benefit the community as a whole, not necessarily individual components or industries, but what can help the business community as a whole.
“That will be the focus for us.”
One business to take advantage of the council’s $750 subsidy last month was gift shop Coastal Funk. Its owners Christopher and Debbie Duane had praised the council for the initiative saying “it’s a huge help when you’re trying to slog it out in business.”
Livingstone on Tuesday confirmed that more than 40 businesses had applied for the $750 subsidy which was capped at 40 available spots.
“Council is currently assessing responses following the closing date on May 1,” a council spokeswoman said.
Of the newly elected councillors, Cr Ireland and Cr Tanya Lynch in particular bring with them strong business experience and there appears to be a real focus from the local government authority in assisting this sector during the current coronavirus crisis.
After his previous local government stint, Cr Ireland and his wife purchased cafe Whisk Yeppoon, which the couple runs with their children.
Cr Lynch operates Vue Wine Bar & Restaurant at Yeppoon with her husband Grant, having run several hospitality businesses in the area over the past decade.