An update from Chief Minister Andrew Barr:
The ACT Government will provide additional, targeted, support for Canberra’s Hotels and hospitality industry as it begins its recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.
In line with eased restrictions coming into effect from tonight, the support package forms part of our Recovery Plan to support local businesses, the community and the economy.
Our Recovery Plan will ensure we are supporting industries most impacted by COVID-19. The hotel and hospitality industry is one of the hardest hit sectors and despite restrictions easing, it will take time for many businesses to recover. The initiatives announced today will help reduce the cost in re-opening.
The ACT Government will support businesses as they reopen, but we can’t do it alone. The whole community can help by shopping and eating local to help businesses get back on track.
I’d like to particularly thank the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) ACT, the Canberra Business Chamber, Canberra Community Clubs and the United Workers Union and other members of the government’s hospitality advisory group for the hard work supporting their industries through the public health emergency.
Hotels, cafes and restaurants
Hotels and serviced apartments will receive a rebate on their water and sewerage fixed charge on Icon Water bills for the first two quarters of 2020-21.
Cafes and restaurants will receive a rebate of $1,000 on their electricity bills issued in the first quarter of 2020-21.
Liquor licence and permits can now be extended to run up to a total of 12 months free of charge to support restaurants and cafes to continue to offer takeaway and home delivery options.
Annual liquor licence fees have been waived for all on licensees and off licensees with gross liquor purchase values of $3 million or less. Existing on-licensees will also have the option to move to a general liquor licence, free of charge until 31 December 2020 to broaden their business model.
The ACT Government is also supporting innovation within the sector, by reducing fees by 90 per cent for new micro-producers who produce and sell up to $100,000 of liquor on their licenced premises in the first year of their off licence.
National Infection Control training
New nationally recognised infection control training will soon be available for workers in customer facing roles to help them understand how to minimise the risk of COVID-19 spreading as more businesses start to reopen.
The free accredited training will be available before the 5th of June to support a confident and safe return to work for over 3,800 frontline workers in the ACT.
The fund will be supported through a national agreement between the Australian Government and states and territories. The ACT Government will invest $670,000 in the new infection control training fund with the Australian Government to match the funding.
This will complement the ACT Government’s existing commitment of almost $125,000 for over 475 students to access infection control training.
Businesses can also access a range of resources including a business resource kit and cleaning checklist for workplaces on the Safe Work Australia website.
A free 30-minute online training module for businesses is available on the Department of Health website, suitable for anyone wanting to understand infection control in any workplace setting.
Commercial property owners in the city centre and Braddon
The government will reduce the City Centre Marketing and Improvement Levy by 50 per cent in 2020-21 for commercial properties in the city centre and Braddon. The remaining 50 per cent will be deferred by six months until February 2021. Commercial property owners are encouraged to pass this saving on to their tenants.
These new elements of ACT Government support total around $6.2 million of additional support in rebates and foregone revenue.
Minister for Business and Regulatory Services Gordon Ramsay:
“We know it’s been difficult for local businesses to adapt to the new business environment and we want to support business to continue trading,” Mr Ramsay said.
“Many businesses have been able to adopt new models of business and we want to support them to continue this while we move forward from COVID and past it.
“This package of reforms provides support for those who are starting out small as well as restaurants and cafes that make up a strong part of our social fabric and who we want to be there for us well into the future,” he said.
Find out how to access support through the Economic Recovery Package at: www.covid19.act.gov.au/business-hub/economic-survival-package