Mayor Williams Announces Plan To Support Local Business Through Pandemic

A re-elected Mayor Karen Williams will immediately move to implement a COVID-19 Local Business Stimulus Plan to support local businesses in the wake of Coronavirus pandemic.

Karen Williams, Redland City Mayor

Mayor Williams has been in talks with the Redlands Coast Chamber of Commerce to develop the stimulus plan to support local business as soon as possible.

“Small business is the backbone of our local economy, employing more than 20,000 local mums and dads, who right now are worried about the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mayor Williams said.

“I am committed to doing everything I can to ensure local businesses can keep the doors open so their employees can put food on the table for their local families.

“This stimulus plan is all about protecting jobs through three key principles; getting extra money to local businesses quickly, providing relief from cost pressures and getting more people spending money with local businesses.

“Importantly this plan is built on feedback from local business gathered through the Redlands Coast Chamber of Commerce business survey.”

Mayor Williams said her COVID-19 Local Business Stimulus Plan included short and longer-term measures to keep the local economy healthy during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It includes looking at opportunities for rates relief and business support grants to relieve cost pressures for local businesses, a” Mayor Williams said.

“We will also look at reducing or freezing some Council fees and charges, so local restaurants and cafes can do what they do best, serve their customers.

“This plan also looks to boost local business by reviewing our procurement policy to encourage people to buy from local businesses, as well as implementing a marketing campaign to encourage more people to visit and spend their money in the Redlands.”

Redland City Chamber of Commerce President Rebecca Young said it was now more important than ever to ensure the local economy was strong and resilient.

“We know that uncertainty and anxiety hurts business confidence and we have heard that feedback through the survey we have been running with local businesses,” she said.

“I welcome the measures outlined in Mayor Karen Williams’ plan and look forward to working with Council and local businesses to support and grow the local economy.

The Mayor’s COVID-19 Local Business Stimulus Plan will include investigating the following:

  1. Review Council’s hardship policy to provide rates relief for businesses and residents financially impacted by the Coronavirus; including investigating the potential to freeze certain rating categories and giving people longer to pay their rates.
  2. Provide incentives to buy-local, including reviewing Council’s procurement policy to give greater weighting to local businesses that employ and spend locally.
  3. Establish and expedite a Redland City Business Support Grant to provide financial support or seed funding to local businesses affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.
  4. A tourism and economic incentives program aimed at generating tourism and economic activity in the city through a series of incentives during the application process.
  5. Work with local and regional tourism operators to increase tourism spend in the Redlands, including a marketing campaign to encourage SEQ residents to holiday and spend in the Redlands.
  6. Work with local Chambers of Commerce to conduct regular “Business Health Checks” to determine what other measures are needed to support our local economy.
  7. Fast-track the rollout of dark fibre in key business areas to provide better internet connectivity.
  8. Reduce ‘red-tape’ permits and fees, making it easier for business to expand and attract customers.