BRISBANE City Council – Australia’s largest municipality – has rolled out a comprehensive series of measures and new support services to assist businesses adjust to, and hopefully survive through, the coronavirus upheaval.

The council last month initiated a $7.9 million business relief package including fee waivers and has backed it up with  a range of supportresources and information. Brisbane City Council is also offering rates relief for up to nine months. 

All Council fees, permits, rents and licences have also been waived for businesses, community groups and clubs until at least June 30.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner announced on March 19 that Brisbane City Council was waiving all charges, rents, levies and permit fees effective immediately for all businesses, as they faced economic hardship caused by coronavirus impacts.

The $7.9 million business relief package applies to businesses and council lessees who will have a range of fees and charges waived for the next three months. 

There is a moratorium on fees and charges for footpath and outdoor dining, food safety permits, commercial river moorings, advertising, temporary food stalls, commercial lease rents, and commercial stalls, booths, and stands. Lease fees for community organisations will not be collected.

“This is about protecting jobs. Brisbane businesses are shedding staff, customer numbers have dropped off and supply chains could be hit when the virus starts affecting more people,” Cr Schrinner said.

“We will do everything we can to support our businesses through this extraordinary time and business charges, rent, fees or permits required to be paid will be waived until at least 30 June 2020. Businesses that have paid these fees since 1 March will have them refunded.

“We will also be refunding all fees or charges for events cancelled due to COVID-19. This is about protecting jobs and community organisations, not just the livelihood of business owners,” Cr Schrinner said.

“Businesses and staff are under enormous strain as the coronavirus impact erodes customer numbers across all sectors, but particularly the hospitality industry.

“Small and large businesses are the backbone of our economy but also one of our biggest employers; and they are staring down financial uncertainty, the likes of which they have never seen before.

“We will reassess the policy once we know the true impacts on the Brisbane economy and workforce after 30 June. Also, anyone who has just paid any one of the fees since 1 March will be given special dispensation,” Cr Schrinner said.


Brisbane businesses and not-for-profits are meeting the enormous challenges of the pandemic in innovative ways, as well.

For example, Movement and Vitality founder Virginia Corpus-McDermott opened her yoga studio in Indooroopilly just six months ago and has had to develop unanticipated operational ‘flexibility’.  Ms Corpus-McDermott  is now live streaming all her classes, allowing students to practice from the comfort of their home or workplace.  

Another innovator at a different business stage is Wholesale Fruit Company, which has been feeding Brisbane’s hospitality sector for more than 35 years. With many of their customers closed, or scaling back operations, the family-owned and operated wholesaler has shifted its focus to providing fresh produce boxes to the public. 

Cr Schrinner has pleaded with residents to heed the advice of Queensland Health, ensure you are safe and follow advice, but go about your daily life, shop, dine and support our local businesses.

“Brisbane businesses will rely on people power to soften the economic blow and save local jobs over the coming weeks and months,” Cr Schrinner said.

“If we don’t support our businesses now, we may find on the other end of this event they may not be there,” Cr Schrinner said.

“We don’t want to see businesses going to the wall. Every single resident has the ability to put their hand in their pocket and support our corner shops, restaurants, and services.

“Our fantastic health authorities are working hard to contain the impacts of the virus, but every one of us can play a role in reducing the economic impacts.”

In mid-2019, Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner also introduced a new Local Buy procurement policy which aims to lift the number of Council contracts going to local businesses to 80 percent.

Cr Schrinner said One-on-one advice sessions for business leaders were also available with Brisbane City Council’s Small Business Liaison officers, to hear about the resources and programs that are available to support business.  

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone council on 07 3403 8888 to book a one-on-one session.



Brisbane City Council has released a Business Survival Checklist to assist business leaders and staff to ‘stay in the game’ while managing the effects of the coronavirus pandemic: 

Riding the storm 

These are unprecedented times, and we know local businesses are working hard to adapt. 

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we live and work and is threatening to have a real and devastating impact on Brisbane’s economy. That’s why council is committed to providing the information, tools and support businesses need to help them weather the storm. 

When facing tough times, the challenge is often knowing where to turn, or what to do next. To get you started, check out our simple business survival guide.   

Prepare to pivot  

Find ways to adapt your business. Can you offer your products online? Is home delivery or takeaway an option? Can you widen your target market? Think creatively. It may mean a complete shift to the way you do business. We spoke to some local businesses for inspiration.  

Get social 

Get in touch with others in your industry. Social media is a great way to connect with similar businesses, share ideas and offer support. Maybe other business owners have taken an approach you could adapt to fit your own? Stay up to date with council via Facebook as well as our Linkedin community.  

Arm yourself with information 
Being well-informed will help guide your decision-making process. Brisbane City Council’s business support page is a good starting point for information. Business chambers and industry-related bodies are also great contact points for tools, tips and resources. 

Seek financial support 
Make the most of the financial support being offered by local, state and federal governments. In response to the coronavirus pandemic council recently waived fees for all Brisbane businesses and council lessees. You can also contact council’s This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or the Business Hotline on 133 BNE (133 263), to learn more about other resources and programs available. 
Keep communication open 
Let your customers know how and why your business is changing. Monitor feedback and don’t be afraid to re-think your approach if it’s not going to plan. Utilise friends and family too. Often they can provide a unique perspective or a new idea.  
Don’t forget you 
During challenging times it can be easy to neglect your own mental health and well-being. Make time for something you enjoy outside of work, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day. Reach out to family, friends or one of the many support services, like Beyond Blue, if needed.   

Brisbane business permit fees, charges, and rents to be waived

This table includes Council business permit fees, charges and rents to be waived information

Fees and charges

Waiver details

Footpath dining (fees)

Waived for the period of 1 March to 30 June 2020

Outdoor dining (malls)

Credit of prepaid invoices for the period of 1 March to 30 June 2020 and Council will not pursue unpaid invoices

River Pontoon Moorings (bookings)

Credit of prepaid invoices for the period of 1 March to 30 June 2020 and Council will not pursue unpaid invoices

Advertising (application or license)

No fees for advertising, signs, hoardings and structures for the period of 1 March to 30 June 2020

Filming (application)

Waive or reduce application fees for filming approval at Council owned or controlled land or assets

Entertainment venues and events (booking)

Refunds granted for those seeking to cancel their events due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions

Music venues (booking)

Refunds granted for those seeking to cancel their events due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions

Food Act 2006 (fees)

Waived or refunded for the period of 1 March to 30 June 2020

Temporary Food Stalls/Premises (fees)

Waived or refunded for the period of 1 March to 30 June 2020

Standing vehicles, stalls booths and stands for commercial or promotional activity

Waived for small business for the period of 1 March to 30 June 2020

City Hall (booking)

Refunds granted for those seeking to cancel their booking due to COVID-19     

Community Hall (booking)

Refunds granted for those seeking to cancel their booking due to COVID-19

Commercial leases

Rent relief for the March to June 30 quarter for retail and tourism sector

Various park permit types

Park permit fee waived for small business for the period 1 March to 30 June 2020

As at March 19, 2020


ONE OF AUSTRALIA’s most recognised food manufacturers, Frosty Boy, and global stadium designers Populous have has been named as finalists in two categories of the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards.

Frosty Boy Australia appears at the top of the list for two key categories, Manufacturing and Business Services. Another regular in the awards, stadium and venue designer Populous, is the only other company to make the finals in two categories, for Creative Industries and joining Frosty Boy in Business Services. 

Creating some of the industry’s most innovative tastes, the Yatala-based company has seen demand for its customised frozen dessert and beverage flavour solutions increase by nearly 50 percent across the business.

“We at Frosty Boy understand our clients, their market and their customers. We pride ourselves on our relationships with our clients and our international export success can be attributed to this. It’s why our clients keep coming back to us, and why their customers keep coming back to them,” Frosty Boy general manager for sales and marketing, Felipe Demartini said.

“This announcement is a real testament to our company, its culture and our ability to compete in the international market place and we are honoured to be finalists in these two categories.”

The Export Council of Australia has congratulated Populous, Frosty Boy and all finalists in the 2017 Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards

Export Council of Australia (ECA) chief executive officer Lisa McAuley said, “The Queensland Export Awards are about rewarding businesses that have shown a commitment and determination to grow their global business and who, against adversity, seek new innovative ways to compete on the international stage.

“The competition is extremely tough and we are thrilled to see a number of new names recognised for their tremendous efforts. It’s fantastic to also see the diversity of the companies that entered the awards this year.

“To acknowledge and celebrate the success of Queensland companies is an important part of encouraging more companies to think global and this year at the awards ceremony we will be celebrating and recognising the great opportunities emerging for Queensland companies in Latin America,” Ms McAuley said.

She said as Australia entered negotiations over a free trade agreement (FTA) with the Pacific Alliance, an great opportunity is emerging to place these countries top-of-mind among Australian companies evaluating new market and diversification opportunities.

“These negotiations come at an opportune moment given numerous positive developments in the Australia-Latin America relationship,” Ms McAuley said.

“We look forward to a great event that recognises our Queensland champions and looks at the new growth opportunities for the state this in this important region.”

The awards ceremony will be held on October 19 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre South Bank. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk  will attend along with Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Curtis Pitt.

The 2017 Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards finalists are:


AGT Foods Australia
Australian Country Choice
BNY Trading Pty Ltd
CJ Nutracon Pty Ltd


Frosty Boy Australia
TAE Aerospace Pty Ltd

Cutting Edge

Clipchamp Pty Ltd
Opmantek Software


ECO. Modern essentials
Evolve Skateboards
Grace Loves Lace
Opmantek Software


Cairns College of English & Business
Global Learner


Altus Renewables Limited
Clean Oil Services Pty Ltd
Core Resources
Verterra Ecological Engineering


Cook Medical Australia
ECO. Modern essentials
Wenross Holdings Pty Ltd


EM Solutions Pty Ltd
Frosty Boy Australia
Noonan Race Engineering
Perfect Potion

Blast Movement Technologies
DINGO Software
Dynamics G-Ex Pty Ltd
NLT Australia Pty Ltd

AGT Foods Australia
Dynamics G-Ex Pty Ltd
Evolve Skateboards
Wellcamp Airport

Clean Oil Services Pty Ltd
Noonan Race Engineering
Tooletries Pty Ltd
Typefi Systems


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