Mornington Peninsula Shire Council is paving the way for extended footpath trading and a new ‘parklets’ program to support restaurants and cafes as COVID-19 restrictions ease over spring and summer. Additional outdoor dining space will be crucial for the Peninsula’s food businesses to reopen and remain profitable while complying with social distancing measures and space restrictions. Options include extended footpath space, temporary street closures, and new parklets that repurpose carparking spaces outside shop fronts.
Affected businesses can apply for grants of up to $5000 from the State Government’s $87.5 million outdoor eating and entertainment package to help them pay for such items such as outdoor furniture, umbrellas and screens. The grants will be available to licensed and unlicensed cafés, restaurants, takeaway food businesses, pubs, taverns, bars and clubs with a payroll of less than $3 million.
“Our roadmap to a COVID-safe economic recovery outlines the many ways we are supporting our local businesses through this crisis,” said council CEO John Baker said. “Allowing our many food businesses to reopen for dining in a safe and profitable way is a priority for us. I encourage all eligible businesses to think about how they can best take advantage of the extended outdoor dining options offered by the shire.
“The Peninsula is set for a very busy summer. Increased outdoor dining will play a very important role in managing the health and safety of our community while giving businesses a chance to get back on their feet. We want to reinvigorate our high streets and shopping strips and give people confidence they can enjoy dining out again and support our local businesses. I know many of us are really looking forward to the simple pleasure of a nice meal out with friends or family.
“The shire will work with traders, business groups and chambers of commerce to make this happen. It will be a win for the whole community, with increased activity in shopping strips flowing through the economy and boosting our recovery on the Peninsula.”
The council is also eligible for up to $500,000 in assistance from the Government to support expanded outdoor dining with measures such as reduced or waived permit fees or investment in infrastructure. “This will really help ensure our local food businesses receive the best support possible from the shire as they transition to increased outdoor dining,” Mr Baker said.
For more information on the council’s extended footpath trading options and the parklets program, phone 5950 1050.