Last week Council endorsed nine additional support initiatives to help small businesses and community groups recover from COVID-19.

These initiatives are the second tranche of assistance provided by Council, after adopting the COVID-19 Small Business: City Support Package and COVID-19 Community: City Support Package, valued at approximately $3 million, in March. Rio Tinto has contributed an additional $1 million to our support packages. The new initiatives are valued at approximately $1.3 million, bringing Council’s total support to date to $4.3 million.

The nine new initiatives include providing approximately 8500 households with $100 Try Local vouchers to be spent at local businesses, in partnership with the Karratha & Districts Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and providing grants of up to $10,000 to local small businesses who can demonstrate significant financial impacts associated with COVID-19.

We’re waiving City fees for hairdressers, beauty salons and tattoo parlours this financial year, implementing a bigger 2020/21 capital and asset renewal program with a specific focus on projects likely to be delivered by local businesses, and providing $1000 grants to community-run sporting and arts and cultural groups who spend $2000 at local businesses between March 2020 and June 2021.

To help tourism operators, we’re waiving the commission fee on local tours booked through the Karratha Tourism and Visitor Centre and offering a 20% discount to residents who book a local tour through the KTVC 1 July 2020-1 January 2021.

In addition, we’re implementing an enhanced 2020/21 City arts, cultural and events program to provide increased opportunities to local artists, entertainers and events related local businesses, and doubling funding for Meet the Street events held this financial year.

To achieve Council’s vision to become Australia’s most liveable regional city, a thriving business sector and well connected community are critical and we are pleased to play a key role in supporting ratepayers, local businesses and community groups during these unprecedented and challenging times.

More information about the each of the new initiatives will be released in coming weeks so watch this space.