Monday, July 15, 2024

Hamilton dishes up discount for hospitality sector

Hamilton hospitality businesses have been offered another helping hand as they struggle to keep the doors open during the COVID-19 Omicron outbreak.

Hamilton City Council has announced a 50% reduction to fees for food safety verifications that take place before the end of June this year. Verifications are required under the Food Act 2014 to help operators meet the requirements of their Food Control Plans around things such as training, food storage, hygiene and other safety requirements.

Hamilton Mayor, Paula Southgate said the decision will put around $60,000 back in the pockets of local businesses.

“The pandemic has had a significant impact on business and the hospitality sector in particular has really struggled from the latest restrictions. This decision is part of a suite of changes Council has already implemented to do our part to help keep the doors open.”

Council is already providing 50% rent relief to Council tenants in the sector and waiving fees and charges for outdoor dining permits.

Deputy Mayor, Geoff Taylor said he and Mayor Southgate had been working closely with Hamilton Central Business Association (HCBA) to look for practical ways Council can support struggling businesses.

“This decision is an outcome of discussions about what practical support we can offer businesses right now to lighten their load. Our Central City is the economic heart of Hamilton and with many people now working from home, the last thing they need is these extra costs when it’s a struggle just to get people through the door,” he said.

“We can all play our part by grabbing a coffee from our neighbourhood café, buying from your local shop and planning a meal out in the Central City.”

HCBA General Manager, Vanessa Williams welcomed the decision to support the sector as it continued to battle the current restrictions.

“Any reduction in the day-to-day expenses incurred by hospitality business in the current environment is welcome. We’re grateful that Council was both receptive to the idea and actively looked to how this could be easily implemented.”

The temporary reduction in food safety verification fees for hospitality businesses applies from 1 March 2022 until 30 June 2022. It is expected around 250 businesses will benefit from the support.

Businesses do not need to apply for the discount – it will automatically be applied at invoicing, Council said.

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