In late March, Council endorsed a broad range of measures to support residents and small businesses experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our Community Group Assistance Fund was allocated $250,000 and to date the City has approved more than $88,000 in grants to over a dozen community groups.
Grants have been provided to Karratha Community House, Welcome Lotteries House, Pilbara Community Legal Service, the RSL, Salvation Army, Karratha Sporting and Recreation Club, Cheeditha Group Aboriginal Corporation, Roebourne Community Resource Centre, Ngarliyarndu Bindirri Aboriginal Corporation, Wangaba Roebourne Art Group, Dampier Bowls Club and Karratha Country Club, among others. This money will hopefully provide a lifeline during these uncertain times.
The City also developed a COVID-19 Support Package for Small Business.
This involved waiving rents on City-owned properties for 6 months, providing lenient and compassionate terms to City debtors, freezing rates for 2021 and the creation of an on-line business portal.
This portal provides a ‘one stop shop’ for the community to browse options available to support local businesses across food and drink, retail, health and wellbeing, services and sport and recreation. It is available at https://openforbusiness.karratha.wa.gov.au.
In addition to these initiatives, the City has established advertising grants for local small businesses on a matched dollar-for-dollar basis, with the City reimbursing 50 percent of the costs of local advertising up to $1000 per business. Twenty four applications were finalised this week.
The City is also running weekly competitions on its Facebook page connecting the community through their support of local businesses via hashtag campaigns, #KeepitinKarratha, #LoveWhereYouLive and coming soon - #SupportLocal. It’s been really uplifting to see how many people are rallied behind our small business sector – follow City of Karratha and get involved.
These support initiatives received a boost of $1 million from our partner Rio Tinto last week and Council is now considering ways we can further assist business and the community with this generous contribution.