At the 8 October Council Meeting, the Councillors adopted a plan to set up a $50,000 temporary grants program to help fund activities that will enhance community wellbeing in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Community Organisation Assistance Grant Program will provide support for small to medium community-based organisations to run projects that provide community connection, digital inclusion and help overcome social isolation – all very important social issues during COVID-19.
This is a temporary grants fund specifically for the pandemic situation, but Council has a range of ongoing community grants programs. If you are part of a group that is seeking funds under this new program or others, go to Council’s website at www.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/grants to see how we can help.
In addition to the temporary Community Organisation Assistance Grant Program, Councillors also agreed to extend the COVID-19 rent waiver program that has been in place since April 2020 for local community and sporting organisations that rent facilities from Council.
We will now be able to continue to run the waiver program for a further six months. But there is a slight change to this measure in that we’re going to do an assessment every three months to ensure assistance is being given to those tenants who are most in need and continue to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The situation with COVID-19 is constantly changing and some not-for-profit groups within the community have actually seen revenues increase during this time.
In light of this, Council will be undertaking an assessment of all tenants who seek a rent waiver, or deferral in line with the National Government leasing arrangements released as a result of the pandemic, just to make sure it is as fair and equitable as it can be.