News & Insights
COVID-19 Client Update – April
April 13, 2020
Working to help local businesses.
So much has changed in the recent weeks since government-mandated restrictions were placed on businesses and households to limit the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, we’ve seen some businesses close down, while scores of people have lost their jobs or had their work hours greatly reduced.
During this difficult period though, Nichols Crowder has continued to work behind the scenes to assist its clients, whether they are landlords, tenants, buyers or sellers. As such, we constantly monitor the types of assistance packages being offered by local Councils and other government agencies to affected businesses, and advise clients accordingly.
Several local Councils have already waived some fees related to particular trading permits and business registrations, which will assist local operators.
Michael Crowder, Director at Nichols Crowder Carrum Downs has also made several important recommendations to local Councils about how they can assist businesses stay afloat, and to have consistency across Councils in the local regions.
For example, on behalf of landlords and tenants (when these costs are passed on) we recently urged Mornington Peninsula Shire to:
- Waive costs associated with the Marketing and Promotion Fund under a special charge scheme;
- Guarantee that rates will not increase in 2020-21, and defer the balance of 2019-20 rates payments in line with mortgage deferrals being offered by Australia’s major banks, and with no interest charged; and,
- Suspend all legal action for the recovery of rates payments.
We will also be requesting that Frankston City Council implement similar assistance programs, and request that Council suspends the collection of its 25% rates surcharge on commercial and industrial businesses.
Nichols Crowder believes that these types of practical and sensible additions to the assistance packages already being provided by local Councils and other government agencies will go a long way to ensuring businesses survive, and are ready to resume operating when the crisis abates. In particular, rates payment relief is one of the best and fastest ways to assist tenants and business owners get through the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us.