The City of Sydney has provided 455 grants to help small businesses survive the economic impacts of the global pandemic and provide support to the most vulnerable in the community, according to a statement.
Four grant programs were offered as part of the $6.75 million stimulus, which includes:
- Cultural sector resilience grants, providing immediate financial support to the not-for-profits and sole traders working in the cultural sector who often rely on individual grant rounds and project-based funds to maintain their minimal staff and pay their artists.
- The creative fellowships fund, supporting artists to engage in creative development of works and initiatives driven by the cultural sector, and to purchase materials and equipment.
- Small-business grants to support businesses to innovate and adapt.
- Community services grants to help organisations working in the priority areas of food insecurity, digital inclusion and social connection to support our vulnerable residents.
The council said the grants program is part of a broader $72.5 million support package that includes rent abatement for tenants in their own buildings and bringing forward appropriate capital works to stimulate employment.
The City of Sydney also said it is set to announce a further 199 grants totalling $2.1 million later this month.
Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore said the city created the new grants program with great urgency to help support its creatives, community sector and small businesses.
“Sadly, the physical distancing measures required to save lives is continuing to hurt the livelihoods of many in our community,” she said.
“Many workers have lost their income from the closure of cafés, restaurants, venues and gyms, and artists and arts organisations were seriously affected, with many shockingly locked out of federal support.
“In response to the economic challenges of the global pandemic, which has created great insecurity and uncertainty for many local businesses, organisations and artists across our city, we created a number of new grants programs to help businesses pay wages, adapt or reinvent themselves, and create new work.
“While restrictions are now easing, many businesses and artists remain in survival mode, and these grants are helping many of them to get back on their feet and move into the recovery stage.”