Community survey crystalises Singleton Council’s response to COVID-19 as applications open for relief and rebuild funds

16/06/2020

About 69 per cent of Singleton households have reduced their spending as a result of COVID-19 and 62 per cent have postponed major purchases such as a house or car, a Singleton Council survey of households shows.

Similarly, 85.3 per cent of more than 90 businesses who responded to Council’s business survey reported the COVID-19 pandemic had had a negative impact through loss of sales, customers and reduced operating capacity.

The online surveys for households and businesses were undertaken as part of Council’s Community Support Package, to gain a snapshot of the impacts on the Singleton community as a result of COVID-19 and how best to provide assistance.

The Support Package amounts to more than $2 million to date, and includes grants of up to $10,000 for community groups and businesses with applications now open for the $200,000 Community Relief and Rebuild Fund and the $100,000 Business Relief and Rebuild Fund.

Vicki Brereton, Council’s Director Organisation and Community Capacity, said the results from the surveys would inform further programs to support the recovery and resilience of the community.

“More than 340 people responded to the household survey, predominantly in the 30-65 age group, and there were more than 90 respondents to the business survey which have given us significant insight into how people have been affected across our local government area,” she said.

“The results have reinforced anecdotal evidence that there has been a significant economic impact on businesses and household spending, but it’s also shown how people are feeling generally about the pandemic with over 80 per cent of respondents indicating they had access to accurate information about COVID-19.

“Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the survey, and for providing input that will help us tailor further initiatives under Council’s Community Support Package.

“The information has also indicated that Council is on the right track with initiatives to date.

“With 98 per cent of households indicating they want to support local business, and 29 per cent of businesses not eligible for government funding, the Spend in Singleton campaign in conjunction with the Singleton Business Chamber, as well as the Community Relief and Rebuild Fund and the Business Relief and Rebuild Fund in conjunction with BHP will help to make a big difference to everyone in our community.”

The Community Relief and Rebuild Fund will provide $200,000 for community organisations that provide assistance to vulnerable members of the community as well as social and sporting groups to cope with increased demand for services and deliver activities to help reconnect the community.

The Business Relief and Rebuild Fund will provide $100,000 for businesses across the Singleton local government area that weren’t eligible for government assistance to carry out essential projects to help them to recover and grow stronger.

Applications are now open. For more information including eligibility criteria and to download an application form, visit https://www.singleton.nsw.gov.au/950/Relief-And-Rebuild-Grant-Funding or contact Council’s Customer Service Team on 02 6578 7290.

ENDS