The City of Ballarat has moved swiftly to remove red tape and waive fees to enable hospitality businesses to re-open.
Council has created a new streamlined online application form which removes the need for any additional information to be submitted by the business (except for a basic map about where they wish to trade).
Additional staff have been allocated to approve permits as applications are received and a personal ‘business concierge’ service in the Economic Development Unit is providing a single point of contact for discussions and advice regarding what venues might wish to do
“We’re doing everything we can to enable these businesses to open,” Mayor, Cr Ben Taylor said.
“If they don’t’ have an outside dining permit, we’re working with them to determine how we can fast track that, and for those businesses who are already permitted to provide outdoor dining and footpath trading, we can help them expand their footprint.”
The City is encouraging any business operators who need help accessing government funds now available under the recovery package for purchasing outdoor furniture, or completing their permit application forms, to make contact as soon as possible.
It is a requirement of Council’s Local Law that each application is considered on an individual basis, which does not allow a blanket approach for multiple new permits at different locations.
“However, Council is working as an enabler, providing the required public liability cover on a temporary basis- so that any new or varied outdoor dining options can begin immediately,” the Mayor said.
“We recognise that some smaller venues currently without outdoor dining options will struggle to make an indoor 10-person dining limit viable.
“These are the people we want to hear from. We want to work with businesses to determine how and where we can help them provide outdoor dining options outside or near their front door. We’re open to all ideas.”
The Mayor believes innovative planning now will help shape the future of hospitality in Ballarat beyond COVID.
Hospitality businesses interested in discussing options should contact the City of Ballarat’s Business Help Desk by emailing [email protected] or phoning 5320 5500.