Grant funds flow for small business recovery in Meander Valley

Posted on October 06, 2020

Council has delivered over $100k in grant funding to assist small businesses in Meander Valley to recover from COVID-19

Business Grants Image bank 2

Verde Cafe’ owner Peter, guests enjoying the show at Marakoopa’s amphitheatre and owner of Jo’z Beauty Therapy, Joanne Mason with some of her latest product lines.

“Fifty local businesses were successful in securing a grant from Council’s $1.7m COVID-19 Community and Business Support Package at what was a critical time in the recovery phase,” Mayor Wayne Johnston said.

Businesses across a range of sectors including retail, hospitality, manufacturing, tourism and child care benefitted from the funding, which was designed to assist with the recommencement of operations as restrictions eased.

“All grant recipients have demonstrated significant financial hardship. Council is committed to providing real support and hope that this goes some way to help with the impact that restrictions have had on our local businesses. This initiative builds on general rate and fee relief already provided by Council,” Mayor Johnston said.

Successful applicant Peter, proprietor of Verde Cafe in Westbury said the support will assist with business continuity.

“The funds will help us recover our operational finances. Throughout the lockdown, we were one of the few hospitality businesses that decided to remain open for take away service and I would like to thank all our customers for their support. They are the reason we are still operating,” Peter said.

Lars and Sarah, owners of the Marakoopa Cafe’ in Mayberry have been versatile in their response to COVID-19, building on their existing business to include accommodation, events, functions and a cinema set amongst their spectacularly landscaped garden.

Sarah said Council’s Small Business Grant assisted them to further invest in their online presence.

“Information regarding weddings, concerts, events, workshops and special occasions can be accessed online and this has allowed us to promote fully, the destination we have created both locally and nationally.”

Joanne Mason, proprietor of Jo’z Beauty Therapy in Westbury has further developed her retail product lines as restrictions had temporarily shut down her normal operations.

“Making sure the most innovative products are available for my clients has always been extremely important. The grant funding has assisted me to take steps towards increasing my online presence and my range of products to include some of the latest collagen and make up lines that treat and feed your skin,” Joanne said.

As a member of Council’s Community Grants committee, Cr Stephanie Cameron said reading through the applications was an overwhelming experience.

“While I felt very sad to read of the immense loss of income some businesses faced, I was also very proud of our resilient community who have adapted and found new ways to keep on keeping on,” Cr Cameron said.

The Small Business Grants formed part of Council’s COVID-19 Community and Business Support Package adopted in May.