Close to $750,000 injected into Isaac region’s local communities

Small to medium businesses and community groups have been given a local cash injection of nearly $750,000 to help get back on their feet in the face of COVID-19.

Small to medium businesses and community groups have been given a local cash injection of nearly $750,000 to help get back on their feet in the face of COVID-19.

Isaac Regional Council’s local economic response has helped 70 small to medium businesses and 25 community groups that have genuinely demonstrated hardship.

Mayor Anne Baker said Council is committed to supporting its local communities during the pandemic and the ongoing economic instability.

“We’re a diverse and fiercely independent region that has risen to this once-in-a-lifetime social and economic challenge,” she said.

“Through these incredibly tough times, your hard work in the Isaac region has been vital in maintaining both the Queensland and Australian economies.

“Some of our own small businesses, families and individuals have faced hardship and we will continue to support our communities as and when needed.

“Our Council officers have been providing one-on-one business and community group health checks as we continue to support our mum-and-dad enterprises through these difficult times.”

The Isaac Community Chest Fund – made possible through Anglo American BHP, Civeo and Aquila Resources/South32 – has already distributed almost $500,000 to 70 small to medium businesses across Isaac.

More than 25 payments totalling nearly $100,000 have been approved from the Special Emergency Community Grants.

These initiatives make up Council’s Road to COVID-19 Recovery Stimulus Packages program.

Close to $150,000 has also been injected into the community economy, by waiving rents on all not-for-profit community leases, partially waiving development fees for 12 months and the development of the Shop Isaac program.

Mayor Baker said in addition to helping businesses remain on their feet, a push to build stronger community and business connection had been launched through Shop Isaac.

“This promotion is really taking off and redirecting spend into the region. More than 100 businesses across retail, hospitality, automotive and tourism are currently registered,” she said.

“Moranbah Discount Tyres & Mechanical, Stanmore Coal and Anglo American are major supporters, each purchasing 500 or more cards which are loaded with cash for spending at Isaac businesses, and we look forward to more industry partners coming on board. Council has also issued 430 cards to staff.

“The program will be promoted strongly in Small Business Month activities throughout October.”

Mayor Baker said in addition to supporting business members facing hardship and not-for-profit organisations, Council has now completed its Pandemic and Tactical Response Framework which has been in motion since March.

“A total of 56 have been fully implemented through the Community Support and Wellbeing Package, Business Support and Stimulus Package and the Business and Community Support Compliance Response Package,” she said.

“We have addressed and managed our own business continuity, our disaster management structure, identifying the community support and our business community support.”

Mayor Baker said Council had extended rate concessions to Not-for-Profit organisations under the existing policy to provide 100 per cent relief on all charges effective 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020.

“We have continued to freeze on charging rents for community leases to not-for-profit community groups under stress for the 2020-21 financial year,” she said.

Mayor Baker said Council is well advanced in developing its Strategic COVID Recovery Plan which is scheduled for adoption in late October.

“This plan will lead on from the earlier Tactical COVID Response Framework and will focus on the recovery themes of community resilience, economic and business resilience, ongoing disaster recovery and ongoing Council sustainability to support this work long into the future,” Mayor Baker said.

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