The City of Whittlesea has provided financial support to Whittlesea Community Connections, developed a COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy for all residents, and released initiatives to help businesses during this pandemic.
Administrator Lydia Wilson said this was the first stage of support from the City of Whittlesea to its residential and business communities, with more announcements expected in due course.
“We understand that COVID-19 has caused significant emotional and financial stress across our community,” she said.
“It is our commitment to all residents and businesses in the City of Whittlesea to provide assistance during this unprecedented time.
“As a first step, we have provided $50,000 to Whittlesea Community Connections (WCC), which is at the front line, helping our community with practical needs like home delivered food along with information and advice.
“This is in addition to our 10-year commitment to support WCC in delivering services to improve the health, wellbeing and connectedness of residents across the municipality, which was announced in 2018.”
The COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy is available to all individuals and businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.
It removes penalties and costs that would otherwise be incurred under normal conditions, via an application process.
“All City of Whittlesea ratepayers who have been financially affected by COVID-19 will be able to apply for a payment plan or, in serious cases, we will consider deferral of rates during the pandemic without incurring interest until 30 June 2021,” Ms Wilson said.
Rates, fees and charges from residents and businesses allow the City of Whittlesea to deliver critical services and other programs to the community.
“We can help those in our community who are struggling to meet the costs of day-to-day life now, without creating additional financial stress when the pandemic is over, and still deliver the services we are here to provide,” Ms Wilson said.
The City of Whittlesea has tripled the number of business mentoring sessions to help local businesses navigate the constantly evolving landscape created by COVID-19 and will implement a range of initiatives to stimulate the local economy.