Council COVID-19 update – Council supports local business and facility updates

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Sunshine Coast Council will be injecting up to $15 million per month earlier into the local economy by expediting payments to local contractors in a bid to improve cash flow and stem the economic impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Businesses that have undertaken work for the Sunshine Coast Council are urged to submit their invoices for receipting, processing and payment as soon as possible and preferably within seven days.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor and Chair of the Local Disaster Management Group Mark Jamieson said council officers were focused on expediting payments to its 7200 active suppliers where possible, and subject to resourcing.

"Hopefully this will help our local businesses with cash flow, general business liquidity and the ability to keep people employed," Mayor Jamieson said.

"Our finance team will do everything it can to expedite the processing of payments and will target paying the invoices within seven days, provided all of the information has been provided, and the goods have been received or the services delivered within contractual arrangements.

"Council pays suppliers on average $30 million per month, and half of our invoices are paid within seven days.

"We will now endeavour to pay all of our invoices that have been provided with all required documentation within seven days.

"Council plays a strong role as both a supporter and as a customer of local goods and services, and because of our local procurement policies, by speeding up payments to our 7200 suppliers this will inject an additional $15 million into the local economy sooner."

Council officers have been contacting local businesses and working with Federal and State government agencies and local chambers of commerce and industry groups to ensure Sunshine Coast businesses know they are not alone and to direct them the latest information and assistance.

Mayor Jamieson said the council website was being regularly updated with information about COVID-19, and a new business support page had been added to the site which included federal, state and local government support programs and helpful information.

These webpages are being updated as new information is released.

"Council is very aware of the disruption and widespread impacts that COVID-19 is having on our businesses," Mayor Jamieson said.

"Council strongly recommends that any business experiencing financial strain should contact their financial institution to seek guidance on the strategies to support them during this time. Council understands that many of the banks and financial institutions are offering assistance packages for business.

"Council is also identifying other mechanisms the business community needs from their council in this difficult trading period and no doubt this will evolve over time."

Business owners and employees are reminded to log in to the free B-Well and Prosper portal available via the council website to provide mental health and wellbeing support during this difficult time.

The portal is an online space with wellbeing and mental health tools, resources, programs and information to support Sunshine Coast small business owners and employees facing business stress and uncertain times.

"It is critical to practise self-care in this stressful period," Mayor Jamieson said.

"Council encourages every small business owner to log in and access free information and subscribe to receive the B-Well and Proposer e-newsletter."

Mayor Jamieson said with the likely economic impacts to businesses, the region should remember to support local suppliers.

"Our message to our Sunshine Coast community is to support our local businesses now more than ever, including buying online from local businesses.

"Every dollar spent locally can make a difference," Mayor Jamieson said. 

"If each of us keeps spending with local businesses, together we can provide a significant financial boost locally and help to keep people employed.

"Many of your favourite local businesses are likely to have an online presence, so if you can't get to the shops in person, don't stop shopping, simply change the way you shop.

"We are lucky in this region.  We have such a great mass of amazing agribusinesses, farmers and suppliers right on our doorstep. 

"Make sure you drop into your local butcher, baker, fruit and veg store or even go to the farm gate and support our local community.

"Our region's spirit and collaboration is unparalleled and if we continue to support each other, we will minimise the impacts and move to economic recovery far more quickly than would otherwise be the case."

For information about other council facilities and services during this time, visit council's website www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au. The website will be updated if changes are made to council's service delivery as a result of COVID-19.

Libraries

Council today announced staff would monitor the number of people attending council libraries in response to Australian Government advice and protocols about novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

We may temporarily limit access to help manage this. If you are unable to enter this building, you may choose to wait or to visit at another time.

Council thanked the community for their patience and understanding during this unprecedented situation.

Council is also encouraging residents to make use of our extensive e-Library services which provides many resources to keep the whole family entertained, including eBooks, comics, eNewspapers, magazines, audiobooks, movies and even music.

Residents can set up their free library membership via the Library website (library.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au).

Caloundra Events Centre and Venue 114 temporarily closing

The Caloundra Events Centre and Venue 114 will close until 4 May 2020 in the interest of the community's health and safety amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The closures are consistent with many performing arts centres and larger community meeting spaces across the country that have also made the decision to close.

Ticket holders for events at both venues will be contacted and tickets will be refunded.

Both venues will continue to monitor the rapidly evolving situation and will keep audiences advised of the status of events post 4 May 2020.

Venue 114 was already scheduled to close from 20 April 2020 to 30 April 2020 for the installation of a new fire panel and these works will continue as planned.

Other council facilities and venues remain open for business and, at this stage, will continue to remain open during normal operating hours pending advice from the Australian and Queensland governments.

Other smaller council-managed venues such as community halls remain open for gatherings of less than 100 people.

 
Community Coronavirus COVID-19 Lifestyle Sunshine Coast Council
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