Benalla Ensign

Pandemic effects to be probed

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Benalla Rural City Council is keen to find out how the ongoing impact of COVID-19 is affecting local business in the Rose City.

From changing restrictio­ns, to QR codes, repeated lockdowns and density limits, businesses in Benalla have been forced to adapt in order to survive.

Benalla Rural City Council Mayor Danny Claridge said council was acutely aware the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on many of our local businesses had been extreme.

“Council is keen to gain a clearer understand­ing of the key issues and direct impacts of COVID-19 on our business community,” Cr Claridge said.

“And (we want) to ensure that our message back to government agencies is consistent, relevant and will access the best possible support in the short, medium and longer term for our community.”

Accordingl­y, Benalla Rural City Council’s Economic Developmen­t Team will be contacting up to 1000 businesses about the impacts of COVID-19 on their operations.

Phone calls and faceto-face visits began on September 21 and will take place until November 17.

The survey takes about 10 to 15 minutes, covering topics such as:

• the degree of economic impact;

• mental health;

• changed business models; • staff and skills shortages; • e-commerce;

• connectivi­ty; and

• blackspot challenges.

Per council’s privacy policy all answers will remain confidenti­al, however, the data provided will be analysed to present the findings to council and to advocate at state and federal government levels.

● For business owners wishing to speak with a council officer, phone 5760 2600 to make an appointmen­t.

● An online survey is also available at www.survey monkey.com/r/ONLINE-COVIDImpac­ts-5

 ?? ?? Time to talk: Zeus Coffee Co. owner Jason Adams met with Mayor Danny Claridge to discuss the effects of COVID-19 on his business.
Time to talk: Zeus Coffee Co. owner Jason Adams met with Mayor Danny Claridge to discuss the effects of COVID-19 on his business.

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