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Financial Relief To Help Local Business Community

To help support local businesses and community groups impacted by the recent COVID-19 alert levels, Hamilton City Council is offering rent relief to tenants of Council-owned facilities.

The decision made at today’s (Tuesday 5 October) Council meeting, will see rent waived for Council tenants operating in the hospitality, retail or community sector who faced financial hardship during the recent lockdown, subject to an eligibility assessment criteria.

Council approved up to $122,000 for 100% rent relief for eligible Council tenants impacted by the latest Alert Level 4 and 3 lockdowns; as well as up to $61,000 for 50% rent relief for eligible Council tenants during Alert Level 2. The latter will be assessed and applied retrospectively when Alert Level 1 is confirmed by the Government.

During the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown, Council provided 100% relief to all Council tenants for a minimum three-month period. Finance Committee Chair Rob Pascoe said this time the rent relief response is more tailored, reflecting experience gained from the 2020 lockdown.

“Our approach is intended to complement the Government’s response, and the efforts of other stakeholders. We will also continue to work with all tenants, the community, and partners to identify if further support is required,” said Councillor Pascoe.

Council has received ten applications so far. To be eligible, tenants will have to provide proof of hardship, and what subsidies or relief they are receiving from the Government or other parties.

Council also approved a special funding grant of $40,000 to the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival for their February 2022 event. The 2022 festival is facing a severe financial shortfall of $85,000 due to the current COVID-19 alert levels.

As a long-standing major sponsor and supporter of the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival, Council currently has in place a three-year major event sponsorship fund agreement of $120,000 per year for the events in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

“Businesses in the hospitality, retail and community sectors are an essential part of our community and contribute to the overall economic prosperity of our city. The continued survival of these businesses and community groups helps to sustain a more vibrant Hamilton. We want to be able to help those who really need it and ease the burden on them during this time,” said Councillor Pascoe.

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