Logan City Council has announced a financial support package to provide immediate and long-term support to its community and business owners impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Logan Economic Response Package will provide immediate assistance for rate payers, suspend debt recovery measures and prioritise procurement for local business operators.
Council will also redirect $200,000 from the Community Project Grants budget into an Emergency Relief Fund, as part of a broader Community Relief Package.
The Fund will help to cover costs of providing goods and resources immediately to those in hardship and those who have already been significantly impacted by the pandemic.
Key components of the support plan include:
- An additional interest free period is in place for the April – June quarter rates and charges notice (to September 30).
- Council’s existing hardship arrangements for residential property owners will be extended to all ratepayers.
- Council will cut its invoice payment time by half with 14-day payments to contractors.
- A 50 per cent refund for operational (licence) fees paid since July last year for nearly 1300 businesses including hospitality and food operators, hotels and motels, manufacturers and a range of other businesses.
- Fees will be waived for any new applications received up until August 31 this year.
- Three months of lease fees will be waived to external operators engaged to manage Council-owned venues.
- Annual lease fees for not-for-profit organisations who lease a Council community leased facility will be waived for 2020.
- Organisations operating from a Council community leased facility (and have none or less than 15 gaming machines), will have their existing levels of Council remissions increased to 100 per cent for the January to March 2020 billing period (billed in April 2020).
- Financial relief for more than 180 sport, recreation and community organisations within Logan that have memberships in excess of 40,000 people, through lease fee waivers.
- Future initiatives will be investigated and considered as part of Council’s 2020/21 Budget processes.
Logan City Council Interim Administrator Tamara O’Shea, said Council had a civic and moral responsibility to support the local community during this challenging time.
“Council is reaching out to its residents and the business community to offer support and assistance,” she said.
“While all levels of government have a support role to play, Council has a unique position as the leading agency within the Logan community.
“We are here to support our residents and businesses in whatever way possible. This includes job opportunities for locals by revising our procurement process and relieving pressure on household budgets.”
Ms O’Shea said Council’s support and assistance packages were designed to help Logan residents and business tap into social funding and economic stimulus initiatives already announced by the Federal and State government.
These include the Federal Government’s First ($17.6 billion) and Second ($66 billion) Stimulus Packages and the State Government’s $4 billion support package.
For business owners, the Logan Office of Economic Development (LOED) has established a support team to respond to the emerging needs of the business community.
It will include mentors who are available to provide tailored support including financial mentoring and business planning.
Ms O’Shea said the Logan community was strong and resilient but conceded monumental challenges would bring some uncertainty.
Her message is “together we will get through this”.
“My thoughts are with everyone doing it tough, from business owners to those who may have lost jobs, mums and dads, grandparents and children, many of whom are experiencing hardship,” she said.
“Also spare a thought for the hundreds of volunteers working tirelessly for charity organisations around the city who ensure some of our most vulnerable members of the community are supported.
“It’s going to take a dedicated and carefully managed approach and all of us joining together to help support – then reignite – our communities, our businesses and our economy.”
For details on community support, emergency relief, donations and the latest update on Council services go to logan.qld.gov.au/covid-19