COVID-19 Community & small business relief

Economic relief and support

We are implementing initiatives to support local businesses and local jobs, through the Gold Coast's road to recovery from COVID-19. We continue to work with you to keep you safe, informed and supported. Find information about relief and support available to the community and businesses below.

Community and business support
Economic stimulus and recovery measures
Accelerated works to support job creation
Relief package for 2021-22

Community relief and support

  • Nil increase to property rates bill for owner-occupiers ($9.07m)
  • Water and sewerage usage charge nil increase ($3.6m)
  • Water and waste hardship program ($2.16m)
  • General/separate rates bill hardship program ($2.16m)
  • Not for profit rent relief on community leases, community facility and community centre leases ($183,165)
  • Right of use hire fee waivers ($228,000)
  • Major sporting venues community lease/license (not for profit) ($114,919)
  • Rates and water accounts – enter a flexible payment arrangement (based on affordability) without penalty interest for up to 6 months. Please visit our Payment plans page to organise via our online form. We have also suspended new recovery action, for those without arrears or in an arrangement, until January 2022.
  • Hardship grants for community organisations ($500,000)
  • Recovery grants for community organisations ($1m)
  • The Discretionary Grants Program allocates funds each financial year to support community organisations to deliver projects with a community purpose.
  • Resource support for not for profit groups ($200,000)
  • City Connect offering recovery support for resident and community groups ($250,000)
  • The City is investing $3 million into a Play Money Rewards program to support the Gold Coast's tourism, dining, retail, arts and culture industries. The Play Money Rewards program will be available to Gold Coast residents with 60,000 rewards of $50 each on offer from 16 September 2021 until sold out. The program will be facilitated by Destination Gold Coast. ($3m)

Business relief and support

  • Discontinuation of special rates for Surfers Paradise Alliance, Broadbeach Alliance, Connecting Southern Gold Coast and Southport CBD and 12 month deferral of replacement funding model ($6.04m)
  • Fees waived for 2021-22 for:
    • roadside dining for 330 hospitality properties ($1.28m)
    • liquor license holders ($248,987)
    • hot air ballooning for the city's operators ($3,447)
    • commercial vessel permits for 19 businesses ($23,351)
    • Referral Agency Advice and Express Development Applications fee relief until 1 October and 27 October 2021, respectively.
    • Contact us to arrange this fee relief
  • Community Centre hire fees waived for 1 month for 780 eligible small businesses, i.e. local dance schools, karate classes and training providers. Businesses will be contacted. ($100,000)
  • Business analysis and engagement – City staff work with small to medium businesses impacted by COVID-19 in the Surfers Paradise, Southport and Coolangatta precincts.
  • Digital growth for the accommodation industry – a 6-month training program aimed at upskilling 50 accommodation providers.
  • Accelerated payment of City suppliers to ensure businesses are paid within 7 days wherever possible.
  • 'Buy local' policy continues to be strengthened to support local businesses.

What we've done for you

From 2020 our City Budget and business support packages have included:

$5 million relief package for 2021-22
STATUS: in progress

More flexible payment arrangement terms for those experiencing hardship due to COVID-19

Continuing to waive a range of fees and charges for businesses
STATUS: Continuing

Continued our buy local procurement policy
STATUS: Continuing

Initial $26.9 million support package

$4.3 million for targeted stimulus measures

$7.5 million in accelerated capital works, to support job creation

Supported food and beverage businesses to move to takeaway models during lockdowns

In a snapshot: 2020-21

  • Rates relief for 137,800 residential properties
  • Water rates relief for 265,270 properties
  • 0% increase in the Tourism & Economic Diversification Differential Rate
  • 11,500 commercial and tourist rental properties received a one-off rate relief
  • More flexible payment plans for water and rates accounts
  • Creation of a water and waste hardship program
  • General rates relief hardship program continued
  • Small business relief through waiving or reducing fees and charges for businesses, community groups and sporting organisations
  • Supporting community organisations through grants programs and other initiatives
  • Fast tracked targeted stimulus measures
  • Increased our contribution to Study Gold Coast to support the return of international students
  • Additional funding to fast track planning for Light Rail Stage 4
  • Accelerated capital works program
  • Accelerated payment of suppliers
  • Parking meters were turned off for a period of time
  • Retained average general rate increase for 2021-22 at 2.5%.

Other financial assistance

COVID-19 business grants and assistance

As businesses reopen and COVID-19 business restrictions ease, you may be eligible for financial or other types of relief. Search the Queensland Government Coronavirus (COVID-19) business assistance finder.

Queensland Tourism Grants

Queensland Tourism Industry Council offers a range of grants throughout the year to operators in the tourism industry.
Queensland Tourism Industry Council – Grants Gateway

Destination Gold Coast

Destination Gold Coast continues to keep the tourism industry up-to-date on industry specific support via their LinkedIn page.
Destination Gold Coast LinkedIn page

Find what you need

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