Making News
29/10/2020
Councils commit to help traders ease back into business

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It’s not just lockdown restrictions that have eased – so too has the burden on businesses looking to reopen safely with both Mornington Peninsula Shire and Frankston City councils offering their help to get traders up and running again.

Mornington Peninsula Shire CEO John Baker said: “The Shire’s focus is firmly on getting our local businesses trading again. This is our No.1 priority. We want to make it as easy as possible for local businesses to trade in a way that will maximise turnover while remaining COVID-safe.”

Mr Baker said the council had instigated a light touch, streamlined permit system for outdoor trading, including extended footpath space and new parklets that repurpose carparks outside shop fronts. “We are also working closely with the business community to identify key shopping strips that could be opened up to pedestrians and diners. We want to provide more options to enable people to support our local economy and enjoy all the Peninsula has to offer.”

Frankston City CEO Phil Cantillon welcomed the State Government’s announcement that provided planning exemptions for expanded outdoor dining into public spaces without the need for a permit. While businesses will still require a letter of support – provided free by the council – Mr Cantillon said the announcement would strengthen the council’s ability to ensure businesses could reopen safely and profitably.

“Our teams, led by dedicated precinct officers, are working overtime to contact local hospitality operators to discuss their options and understand their intentions. While some may choose not to open immediately, others have the potential to take advantage of kerbside dining, parklets, and potential laneway closures to create more dining spaces.”

Businesses wishing to extend seating into public areas beyond their private boundaries will still have to apply for a council permit, but no fees will be charged.

Mr Cantillon said the council’s business concierge would help businesses navigate application processes for letters of support, permits and government grants. “To date, our streamlined process has seen close to 10 outdoor dining permits issued, with more being received and promptly assessed each day.”

Chris Farmer, who operates the Seaford-based craft brewery Mr Banks, praised the council for its ongoing support. “The communication with Frankston Council has been regular and really helpful,” Mr Farmer said.

Frankston City businesses that require support are encouraged to contact the council’s business concierge, who will put them in contact with their precinct officer. Email businessconcierge@frankston.vic.gov.au, phone 1300 322 322, or visit frankston.vic.gov.au/business

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