Towong Shire Council welcomed an announcement by the Minister for Local Government, Adem Somyurek, last Wednesday of a $10,000 grant for a program of events to help fire-affected businesses across the municipality.
Mr Somyurek met with Towong mayor, Cr David Wortmann, along with CEO Juliana Phelps, Cr Jennie Star, Cr Aaron Scales and representatives from local businesses.
The minister confirmed the grant to support Business Victoria’s Local Events program to provide dedicated seminars, training workshops and events to Towong businesses in partnership with council and business chambers.
“While the bushfire season is far from over, it is important to start working with small businesses on the process of recovery and rebuilding,” Mr Somyurek said.
“These grants will help local councils and small business owners and operators to work together on planning their recovery.”
The additional funding follows $2.2M already provided from the state government to establish the Upper Murray Community Recovery Hub.
A proposal for how the new funding will be allocated to best support bushfire affected communities will be shared at the March council meeting.
The meeting also provided an opportunity to discuss the challenges that come with being Victoria’s smallest rural council in managing recovery efforts across an area as vast as the Upper Murray bushfires which burnt 308,000 hectares or 45 per cent of the municipality.
Cr Wortmann said “The funding allows us to work closely with fire-affected communities to put strong foundations in place in the form of resource and plans to deliver a sustainable recovery in partnership with our communities,” he said.
“This latest grant allows us to narrow in on the needs of small businesses to give them the practical support they need.”
Small business in the Upper Murray will also be supported by series of community information sessions.
Organisers, AgBiz Assist, have an enviable reputation for the frontline delivery of financial counselling and encourage all small business operators impacted by the fires to take advantage of these sessions.
The recently updated CPA Australia Disaster Recovery Toolkit, which was initially developed in response to the 2009 fires, will be freely available at the sessions along with lots of helpful information from the participating organisations.
There will be opportunities after the brief presentations to chat with the speakers. The Corryong session is on Tuesday February 25th at the council offices. Registration is required for catering purposes - call 1300 834 775.