BASS Coast businesses, individuals and community groups struggling with the economic fallout of COVID-19 will be able to apply for a share of $700,000 in local government grants from the end of this month, if all goes according to plan at the next ordinary council meeting.

The Business and Community Resilience Grants Program, announced in April as part of Bass Coast Shire Council’s $960,000 COVID-19 Response and Recovery Package, will open for applications following the May 20 council meeting in Wonthaggi, providing councillors endorse the newly developed program guidelines when they come up for a vote.

The Response and Recovery Package also includes a number of business fee reductions which are already being rolled out, with council officers providing refunds where they apply.

Council has deferred or discontinued various projects planned for the remainder of the financial year to fund the support package, which it has flagged as an “initial response or first phase,” with a second phase offering further support likely to follow.

Information on the grants program and how to apply will be provided on council’s website at www.basscoast.vic.gov.au.

Community members financially impacted by COVID-19 can continue to access rate relief through council’s Financial Hardship Policy.