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Councillor Angela Vithoulkas Notice of Motion

SMALL BUSINESS GRANTS (S103138)

It is resolved that:

(A) Council note:

  1. the City of Sydney offers a range of grants and sponsorships for business. The City’s grants and sponsorship program aims to strengthen Sydney’s competiveness, improve productivity and capacity, and promote business opportunities;
  2. up to $80,000 can be applied for per year under the Village Business Grants Program. Grant applications are submitted online, evaluated by the City of Sydney Grants Assessment Panel, who then provide a recommendation to Council;
  3. some City of Sydney local business chambers and associations have been successfully awarded $80,000 grants under the Village Business Grants Program, to fund business building activities in their areas, for a number of years;
  4. currently, 11 business chambers and associations play an important and relevant role in providing support for local businesses that is independent of Government;
  5. in December 2015, several business chambers and associations received less than $80,000 under the Village Business Grants Program, leaving a shortfall that may impact planned business initiatives in their relevant precincts;
  6. on 20 January 2016, I convened a round-table discussion focusing on the Grants program. Executive members of the various local Chambers and Associations were invited. That discussion raised a number of issues with the current Grants process from the perspective of those who have applied for grants over the years; and
  7. from this discussion a number of proposals were put forward to improve the grants process and outcomes; and

(B) the Chief Executive Officer be requested to:

1. amend and update the current Village Business Grants Program to ensure:

  • that sufficient funds are provided for in future budget allocations to ensure each existing chamber and association has the ability to apply for an annual Village Business Grant of up to $80,000 each;
  • if individual Chambers and Associations are unsuccessful in their initial application for any or all of their allocated $80,000 grant, provisions should be made to enable them to re-apply for any remaining funds within that same financial year;
  • the provision of greater flexibility to enable Business Chambers and Associations to organise and determine the size and number of projects within their allocated $80,000 grant per annum; and
  • collaboration and communication is enhanced between City of Sydney staff and those applying for grant funding; and

2. provide enhanced feedback on grant applications that may not meet the relevant criteria prior to the grant deadline to enable the applicants to amend their application.

 

 

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