I have requested the Lord Mayor to call an Extraordinary Council Meeting to discuss the unfolding COVID-19 crisis that is developing across Australia. The NSW and Federal Government are taking action to protect our citizens as well as to help keep the economy functioning. It is clear that Council can also take action to relieve the pressure on small businesses which are facing unprecedented downturns in business.
Council has resolved to take action to improve the activation and promotion of the area, but unfortunately that won’t be enough. I want more done to help our small and family businesses during this difficult time.
I have called on Council to immediately suspend all fees collected from Small Business. Fees such as Outdoor Dining fees should be waived immediately. I have also called on the City of Sydney to offer rent relief to small business tenants who are suffering from the downturn in trade caused by the spread of COVID-19.
I also call on the State Government to suspend payroll tax for all small businesses affected by the downturn in the retail market. After speaking with Property NSW, I urge all small businesses in the Rocks and Darling Harbour who are struggling under the current spread of the Corona Virus to contact their Property NSW representative to discuss rent relief.
Finally, I call on landlords to do their bit. Rent and wages are the biggest overhead for these small businesses. Any small rent reduction will ensure the landlord still has a tenant when this is all over and the small business tenant can hang on for just that little bit longer. We can't wait another 2 weeks until the next Council meeting. We need to take action now.