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COVID-19 Recovery Package – For Business

We know our local businesses are facing many repercussions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak so Council is committed to helping them get back on their feet with a Rates RebateFees and Charges Relief and Business Support Initiatives Program.

View the COVID-19 Recovery Package – For Businesses Fact Sheet here or read the FAQs

Business Support Initiatives Program

The program contains three key parts to support our local businesses and encourage local buy across the Western Downs – Business Recovery Planning, Enabling E-Commerce and a Buy Local Campaign. 

Recovery Planning

Council’s latest round of business recovery planning sessions closed 1 July, 2020. 

The Business Recovery Planning initiative provided local businesses with the tools to strengthen their business and work towards an effective turnaround strategy following the impacts of Covid-19. Council offered local business owners the chance to work one on one with local professional service providers to ensure local businesses are given the best advice.

 Matters included in the Business Recovery Planning initiative include:

  • Accessing business assistance and support programs
  • Advice for cash flow planning and relief
  • Advice on implementing turnaround and possible growth strategies
  • Developing risk mitigation and business continuity plans

View the Business Recovery Planning Initiative Guidelines

Enabling E-Commerce

To assist local businesses to increase their digital presence and investigate opportunities for increased or additional revenue, Council is offering local businesses the chance to become digital savvy with up to 5 hours of free one-on-one advice with a digital marketing expert.

Registrations for this program open on 4 January 2021 and close on 31 March 2021, unless fully subscribed prior to this date. Please view the guidelines and register your interest for this program here.

Alternately you can register your interests in this initiative by contacting Council on 1300 268 624.

Council also hosts a range of e-commerce and retail video resources to help businesses to maximise the impact of their digital efforts. See the range of Business Support Resources here.

Buy Local Campaign 

Now – more than ever – it is vital that our communities support each other by buying local. Therefore, Council is working with the local Chambers of Commerce to create a Buy Local campaign region-wide. 

Rates Rebate


Under Council’s Rates, Fees and Charges Relief Program, all Retail, Commercial, and shopping centres will receive a rebate on their rates (under the current levy – issued March 2020). Businesses do not need to worry about applying for this rebate as Council will automatically process and distribute the rebated amount via cheque.

Council have also extended the discount period on all rates to 30 June, 2020 and offered interest relief on overdue rates until 30 September, 2020 to reduce the financial burden on businesses and households.

Fees and Charges Relief

To support local businesses through the COVID-19 recovery, Council is implementing the following waivers:

  • Local Law Food Licencing Fees to be waived until 30 June 2021
  • Most Planning, Building and Plumbing Fees to be waived until 30 June 2021


Infrastructure Charges Incentive Scheme

Council has waived infrastructure charges on selected development approvals to increase investment to the region, accelerate development, create new jobs and deliver new opportunities for the Western Downs.

The Infrastructure Charges Incentive Scheme is targeting Industry, Aged and Health Care, Tourism, Intensive Agriculture, and Commercial (Business) development approvals and is offered over a two year period.

To find out more about Council’s Infrastructure Charges Incentive and eligibility criteria, contact Council’s Planning team on 1300 COUNCIL (1300 268 624).


Local Procurement Accelerated Major Projects Factsheet

Local Procurement Accelerated Infrastructure Program Factsheet

Register your business on our Local Supplier Database or apply to be considered as part of panel arrangements on our doing business with Council page

Frequently Asked Questions:

What if commercial businesses have not paid rates yet?
Council will issue an amended rates notice to those commercial ratepayers who have not yet paid.

Are Council working with the local chambers?
Yes, we are collaborating with local Chambers of Commerce to deliver business support programs.

Do I get to select my preferred service provider for Business Recovery Planning sessions?
Businesses will be able to select their preferred service provider from the pre-approved short list.

Is my business eligible?
All retail, commercial and shopping centre businesses operating for-profit and located in the Western Downs Regional Council Local Government Area (LGA) are eligible.

The Hospitality industry has been hit hard by Covid-19 and Social Distancing regulations, how will Council be assisting these businesses? 
In a bid to support our hospitality industry, Council are waiving food business licence fees for the 2020/2021 financial year.

How can I access Council’s Business Support Programs?
Local business owners can submit an application online on Council’s website . If you need any further information call the Customer Contact Team on 1300 COUNCIL (1300 268 624).

For more information:
Contact Council on 1300 COUNCIL (1300 268 624).

Covid-19 Recovery Package: For Business | For Residents | For Community Groups | Our Projects

Information last updated: 8:00am 30 April 2020