SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council is undertaking a number of initiatives to assist local businesses and communities to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

Developed with funding support from the state government’s Outdoor Activation Fund, the activities aim to support industries that were impacted by COVID restrictions and assist businesses to operate in a COVIDSafe outdoor setting.

The first activity to be delivered as part of the program is food registration discounts for 360 businesses. The discounts are a small but effective way to help businesses to reduce their operating costs. The total value of the food registration subsidies is approximately $47,000. The cost of footpath trading permits for 2022-23 will also be reduced as part of the assistance program.

Another project already underway is the revitalisation of main street areas in Mirboo North, Korumburra and Foster. Using high-pressure cleaning equipment, a contractor has been busy cleaning footpaths and street furniture in the three towns, making them more inviting to use and complementing outdoor dining areas.

More activities are planned and will be delivered progressively over the next few months.

Mayor Cr Mohya Davies said the COVID-19 Outdoor Activation Fund helped council to undertake a number of projects that support local businesses and communities.

“The footpath revitalisation has certainly made a difference in the selected towns, with before and after images highlighting the transformation. We are currently investigating whether the program can be rolled out to other main street areas.

“There are a number of other activities that will be delivered as part of the Outdoor Activation Fund, including new exhibition (art) cubes and an extension to the Eat Local, Shop Local campaign.”