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CoN extends hardship support for businesses and residents

Business and residents impacted by the latest COVID-19 restrictions have been thrown a lifeline with City of Newcastle (CoN), this week, extending hardship support.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the support. would come in the form of interest-free payment plans for the upcoming 2021.22 rates notice period in response to an anticipated further slowing of economic activity due to the restrictions in place across regional NSW as well as supply chain issues as a result of the Sydney lockdown.

“With 2021/22 Rates Notices arriving in mailboxes from mid-July, we encourage those experiencing financial hardship to reach out and contact CoN to discuss a payment plan.  The next rates instalment is due on 31 August, so there is plenty of time to organise a plan,” Cr Nelmes said.

“In July 2020, during the height of COVID-19, we saw a large take-up from residents and businesses experiencing hardship and helped set up appropriate arrangements. 

“$1.64 million in rates were deferred during the peak period, and CoN is extending the same support to help the community through this challenging time.”

Ratepayers can arrange flexible payment plans, including weekly, fortnightly and monthly instalments, as well as other tailored plans.

Financial planning and counselling assistance through one of CoN’s appointed community welfare agencies are also available to ratepayers experiencing hardship.

Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen added that CoN’s $5.5 million COVID Community and Economic Resilience Package is continuing and is focused on upskilling local talent and increasing business resilience.

“City of Newcastle has called on businesses to develop training packages that address the skills gaps in the local economy, with a range of NewSkills training programs soon to be on offer,” he said.

“Target areas include identifying how businesses in the hospitality and tourism sectors can build a more resilient business model and support emerging industries.”

Ratepayers experiencing financial difficulties are encouraged to seek assistance by contacting the CoN Rates Team on 02 4974 2307 or rates@ncc.nsw.gov.au.

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