City provides community financial hardship support in response to COVID-19

30 Mar 2020

City of Newcastle is providing financial hardship support for businesses and residents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as part of a $5.5 million Community and Economic Resilience package.  

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said local businesses are facing supply chain issues and substantially reduced economic activity with the unemployment rate likely to continue to rise as COVID-19 continues to spread.  

“We understand it is an extremely challenging time for many people in our community so it’s important City of Newcastle does everything possible to support our community’s resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“The City will provide financial hardship support for residents and business owners to develop payment plans for their rates, with interest penalties waived until 30 June 2021. 

“The next rates instalment is not due until 31 May, so people experiencing financial hardship have plenty of time to contact City of Newcastle to organise a payment plan.  

“The payment plan options will be determined on an individual basis after consultation with a Debt Recovery officer. If you are already on a payment plan, you will have the interest waived for 12 months.” 

Local businesses and residents will receive cash flow relief with a 50 per cent discount given on rent for all City-owned buildings and land for the June and September quarter. 

“This will reduce financial pressure for dozens of local small businesses and community organisations,” Cr Nelmes said. 
 
“In addition, the package focuses on stimulating the Newcastle economy through a ‘buy local’ commitment. Businesses within the Newcastle Local Government Area will be favoured with the usual local weighting assessment of 10 per cent increased wherever possible."  

“We will also fast track our invoice payment to provide improved cash-flow for businesses and to keep the economy ticking.  

“City of Newcastle has implemented a range of flexible approaches to allow essential businesses and service providers to operate responsively to the city’s changing needs in line with the latest advice from the NSW Government and Federal Government. This includes flexible truck delivery times for supermarkets and extended operating hours for doctors’ surgeries.  
 
“Due to the additional challenges posed by COVID-19, we have waived fees on library fees and have committed to hold the City’s hourly parking rate for 12 months.” 

For further information on City of Newcastle’s response to COVID-19 please see newcastle.nsw.gov.au/COVID-19