Rebates on electricity, water and sewerage charges are amongst a raft of additional relief measures for the hotel and hospitality industries announced by the ACT Government today, amidst easing restrictions coming into effect this weekend.
In a press conference today, Friday 29 May, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr announced cafes and restaurants would receive a $1,000 rebate on their electricity bills from the first quarters of 2020-21.
It was also announced that hotels and services apartments would receive a rebate off their fixed Icon water and sewerage charges.
Mr Barr said this was only the beginning of several initiatives that would be offered to these industries.
“This is by no means the last thing we’ll say in respect to tourism, hotels, hospitality and this broader industry sector,” he said.
“We will always look towards fee relief where we have existing accounts with businesses, that’s the easiest, quickest way we can deliver assistance to industries and individual businesses in the ACT.
“We’re not geared up to be a commercial lending bank, we don’t have loan officers, we can’t manage 30-year loans with businesses. What we can do is provide immediate fee relief.”
Other initiatives announced this afternoon include the extension of liquor licenses and permits for free, allowing businesses to continue takeaway and delivery options adopted during the pandemic.
ACT Minister for Business and Regulatory Services, Gordon Ramsay, said these measures were necessary in supporting businesses within these industries.
“We know it’s been difficult for local businesses to adapt to the new business environment and we want to support business to continue trading,” Mr Ramsay said.
“Many businesses have been able to adopt new models of business and we want to support them to continue this while we move forward from COVID and past it.
“This package of reforms provides support for those who are starting out small as well as restaurants and cafes that make up a strong part of our social fabric and who we want to be there for us well into the future,” he said.
The ACT Government also announced it would reduce the City Centre Marketing and Improvement Levy by 50% to assist commercial properties within Braddon and the City Centre.