Hobsons Bay COVID-19 Business Support

Hobsons Bay City Council has provided the following support to businesses in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Hobsons Bay Business has Heart

Hobsons Bay Business has Heart was set up to promote the many local businesses operating across the municipality and support them to survive, recover and thrive. 

This exciting program is providing a targeted response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and building on the sense of local community support and connection many people are feeling during this time. The range of initiatives to support local business communities include:

Hobsons Bay Community Support Packages

Hobsons Bay City Council has released Community Support Packages to assist some of the city’s most vulnerable residents, as well as small businesses who may be struggling from the impacts of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

Almost $2 million is dedicated to business and economic recovery as part of Council's third Community Support package in the Budget 2020-21. Business support provided through this package includes:

Permit fees

Council will waive the following permit fees for businesses within Hobsons Bay for 2020-21:

  • Food registrations
  • Health registrations
  • Footpath trading permits
  • Planning permit fees

Businesses will still need to renew their registrations for food, health and footpath trading permits using the following steps but no payment of fees will be required.

Food and Health Registrations
The eHealth Portal is now open for renewals of Food Act 1984 registrations at www.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au/BusinessRegistrationRenewal. Renewals are due by 30 September. Renewal for Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 registrations will open on 1 October and are due by 31 December.

Footpath trading permits
The Greenlight Portal is now open to register footpath trading permits at www.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au/FootpathTrading. All local traders must comply with the Footpath Trading Code of Practice to ensure there is clear, safe and unobstructed footpath access for pedestrians of all abilities.

Planning permits
All planning permits and fees associated with small businesses are also being waived. Please call Council on 1300 179 944 to find out what’s required. 

Nelson Place and Williamstown Beach Parking
Paid parking will continue to be suspended in Nelson Place until 31 December 2020. Customers of businesses at Williamstown Beach will also be provided dedicated permits from vendors for free parking during this period.

Rates adjustment

To keep delivering essential services and projects, the budget applies a 2 per cent rate increase, in line with the state government’s Fair Go Rates System. While this would normally generate additional revenue of approximately $2 million, we are implementing a rate adjustment to redirect approximately $2.2 million in funds back to ratepayers. This means rates notices for 2020-21, when compared to the previous year, will on average decrease by 1.91 per cent for commercial properties and decrease by 0.02 per cent for industrial properties.

These rate decreases may include a rebate of $200 and $915 for eligible commercial and industrial properties, respectively. The rebates will be automatically included in the rates notice. If businesses have been materially impacted by COVID-19 and haven’t received the rebate they can apply through Council’s Hardship Policy.

Rent relief in Council buildings
Commercial tenants in Council buildings will be provided rent relief, email property@hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au for details.

Negotiating rent relief with your landlord
For advice on negotiating rent deductions with your landlord, call the Victorian Small Business Commission on 13 87 22 or visit www.vsbc.vic.gov.au

Financial hardship

If you are experiencing financial hardship and can no longer pay your rates, interest, fees and charges for your business, you can apply for financial assistance. The Financial Hardship Policy has been refreshed with various options available for rate deferral through to waivers depending on the financial circumstances of the business. Apply online at www.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au/financialassistance or call Council on 1300 179 944.

For information on Council's Community Support package 1 and Community Support package 2, visit www.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au/Community/Coronavirus-community-information

For more information about the community support package, as well as key information for your business please click here(PDF, 152KB) or contact the economic development team at business@hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au 

Residents wanting assistance in their first language can call Council’s Language Line on 9932 1212 and ask to speak with an interpreter.