What are the ways of helping our Businesses during Covid-19.
The great news is our community has recognised how businesses can be impacted by economic downturns, just as workers. As a former small business operator myself, I have been heartened by the concern our community have shown our businesses.
So how can we help them.
At Community Level
I believe we all know we can help our local economy, our local businesses, is by using them in preference to going elsewhere. Please do this.
Not just when restrictions are removed but now. If they are open and can provide you goods or a service then check them out.
This applies, not just to our street traders, but our many home based businesses. We have many home based businesses. This includes lawyers, accountants, doctors, dentists, physiotherapists, podiatrists, chiropractors etc. It also includes builders and a myriad of tradies, including plumbers, sparkies, chippies, brickies, tilers, concretors, plasterboard fixers & flushers to name but a few.
They are all out there waiting for you to contact them.
At Council level
What can council do in helping our Businesses during Covid-19. We should take every opportunity to lead by example and seek out their goods and services as much as is possible.
We can also provide assistance in other ways.
Beyond this, relevant street trader businesses will get an opportunity to have direct input into the levies they contribute to the promotion of their streets. I speak particularly of the 4 main streets. Goodwood Road. King William Road. Unley Road. Glen Osmond Road.
At my instigation, Council is asking the four street trader associations to ensure they have consulted with and received the backing of their members for the budgets they have submitted to us for next year. This is on the back (again at my instigation) of us requesting them to ensure the budgets proposed recognise the impacts on their members of Covid-19.
I expect therefore to be fully aware of the thoughts and suggestions of all the Association trader members. To not rely therefore on just the thoughts of the committees.
Any Other Initiatives.
Is it feasible for Councils to do such things as waive rates for businesses forced to close. This is being suggested in some quarters.
We would want to be very careful about waiving rates such that we restrict our financial capacity to contribute to a post Covid stimulus. We likewise would not want to pass this onto other rate payers.
It may be worth Council looking into utilising our current year surplus, whatever that is rather than use it to pay down debt. Food for thought.