We are here to support local businesses as Boroondara recovers from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are a number of initiatives and supports available to help Boroondara businesses get back into action quickly and safely.
The Third Step in Victoria's roadmap for reopening for Metropolitan Melbourne (expected 26 October 2020) permits hospitality businesses, such as restaurants, cafes and bars, to reopen using outdoor dining spaces.
To help Boroondara businesses plan ahead, we have simplified our processes, fast tracked permit applications and waived Council permit fees.
Boroondara businesses may also be eligible to apply for grants from the Victorian Government's Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package, which aims to support widespread and practical outdoor dining over the summer.
An information pack has been developed and delivered to local food and beverage businesses to explain the various options and steps involved to unlock more outdoor dining in permitted outdoor spaces.
Download Information Pack
If you run a restaurant, café, bar or other hospitality business within the City of Boroondara, you may be able to apply for outdoor trading opportunities in permitted outdoor spaces. These permitted spaces include:
- private land
- public land
We are also working with Boroondara trader associations to assess suitable locations for outdoor dining space in some car parking bays and vehicle laneways.
If you already trade on the footpath, you can apply for an extension to your footpath trading area. This may be the best option for you if you are:
- Looking for a quick and easy way to extend capacity for outdoor trading
- Already holding a current permit for footpath trading
- Clear of loading zones, disabled parking, bus or tram stops
If you don't already trade on the footpath, you can apply for a fast-tracked permit.
You can apply online for a footpath trading permit or for an extension to your current footpath trading area.
You may have space on your property that can accommodate outdoor dining, such as a courtyard or on-site car park.
In many cases, businesses can use these spaces without the need for a planning permit. However, in some cases the law requires a planning permit.
To help you determine if you require a planning permit, our Council case managers are on standby to assist. Please indicate on this form that you wish to discuss use of private land with a case manager and we will contact you to provide one-on-one guidance.
We are currently assessing civic squares, public parks, public laneways and other public spaces throughout Boroondara to determine their suitability for outdoor trading.
Unlocking public land for outdoor trading is a slower process than using footpaths, as each space is assessed against specific criteria, including:
- pedestrian access
- disability access
- impact on other community members who use the space
Using public land for outdoor trading is also dependent upon the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation and the Department of Environmental Land Water and Planning expediting their approvals to Council.
We are assessing a large number of proposals to trade on public land received before 11 October 2020. If you are interested in this option but have not yet applied, you can still register your interest by completing this form and indicating the location of the public space you wish to occupy.
These applications will be considered in a later phase.
We will consider applications to trade on footpaths and private land on an ongoing basis. Please indicate on this form that you wish to discuss use of footpaths and private land with a case manager and we will contact you to provide guidance.
Local, state and federal supports
In addition to enabling outdoor dining, the City of Boroondara, the Victorian Government and Australian Government are providing a range of supports and resources to assist businesses.
As part of a $4.5million relief and recovery package, we are providing financial support to businesses by:
- waiving food premises registration fees
- waiving and rebating footpath trading fees
- waiving trader parking permits fees
During 2020, businesses applied for Council funding through a number of grant programs, including:
- Small Business Booster Grants
- Small Business Resilience Grants
Visit our Grants for business page for more information.
We have a number of online resources available to support your business.
- Participate in our online tutorials to give you a beginner's guide for using Instagram and LinkedIn for your business. See Online business resources.
- To receive regular information and resources to support your business, subscribe to our Business Boroondara e-newsletter, BizBits.
- Learn about what permits may be required to get your business up and running. Contact Council's Business Support service.
- Register for an upcoming workshop or networking session.
- Register for free, online one-on-one business mentoring for new and established business owners to address challenges and explore opportunities.
- A series of posters Council has developed for local businesses to display.
Support is available from the Victorian Government to help businesses impacted by COVID-19.
- Business Victoria is offering grants to local businesses as part of its Business Resilience Package.
- Access resources to help small businesses experiencing difficulty paying rent from the Victorian Small Business Commission.
- Learn about the commercial tenancy relief scheme to support commercial tenants and landlords who are struggling with economic disruption due to the coronavirus. The scheme includes a 6-month moratorium on evictions for eligible commercial tenants and mediation services through the Victorian Small Business Commission.
Support is also available from the Australian Government to help businesses impacted by COVID-19.
- Australian banks have announced a Small Business Relief Package, which will defer loan payments for small businesses affected by COVID-19 for 6 months.
- The Australian Government has announced a number of measures to support businesses to manage cash flow challenges and retain employees.
- The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is offering relief measures to help businesses having difficulty meeting tax and super obligations. You can also call their emergency support hotline on 1800 806 218.
For additional resources, support services, information and advice, see:
- Business Victoria
- The Victorian Chamber of Commerce
- The Australia Retailers Association
- Safe Work Australia’s COVID-19 information for workplaces
- The Fair Work Helpline for information on your obligations as an employer
If you are open for business and doing things a little bit differently so that you can continue to deliver your products and services to the Boroondara community, we would love to share your ideas with other local businesses.
Email us at [email protected] and we’ll promote your business on our Boroondara life Facebook page.
- the name of your business
- information about your products and services and how you’re doing things differently to ensure the health of customers is prioritised
- a photo of your adapted business in action (this could depict the steps you’ve taken to promote health and safety, for example,your new takeaway coffee set-up/station)
- any online offers
The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is the primary source of information about COVID-19.