Unley waives outdoor dining permit fees

Published on 06 September 2021

Outdoor-dining-cropped-smaller.jpg

Unley’s elected members voted to waive outdoor dining fees at its August meeting, in a motion inspired by an approach by local hospitality businesses.

Unley Mayor Michael Hewitson said he fully endorsed Cr Nicole Sheehan’s decision to put this motion to Council after she was contacted by Goodwood food business owners seeking her support to put a case to the elected members.

‘The City of Unley is known for its vibrant precincts and outdoor dining is a huge contributor to this vibrancy. Having people enjoying our main streets and supporting the wider business community is so important, so I’m pleased that Cr Sheehan put this issue to the vote’ the Mayor said.

‘Businesses have had a difficult eighteen months with temporary closures, capacity restrictions and a lot of uncertainty. The hospitality sector is especially impacted by caps on customer numbers.  While businesses still need to renew their outdoor permits, waiving the cost of these is another way Council can assist its business community during challenging economic times.’

‘If any food trader is thinking of activating outdoor dining, we would certainly encourage them to contact Council for assistance.’

The Mayor said Council’s ‘Keep it Local’ campaign had increased awareness about where people chose to spend their money and highlighted the vital role businesses play as community connectors.

‘I love being Mayor of a city that has so many wonderful food offerings and dining experiences in a relatively small area, it’s part of the energy and attraction of our main streets. Outdoor dining helps enliven our precincts, and we want to enable and encourage this. This is one less cost for business owners in uncertain times’ the Mayor said.

‘I know Cr Sheehan was delighted with this outcome to waive permit fees, which was supported unanimously by her fellow councillors. She is aware these challenging times have impacted small business, so when her constituents reached out, she felt compelled to try and assist’.

Owner of Cru Tapas Bar & Kitchen in Goodwood Martin Ardill said the waiving of the fees was ‘welcome relief’. ‘It’s of benefit to all businesses to utilise their outdoor space; it creates a pretty picture seeing customers enjoying time outdoors, sipping a drink in the sun. Atmosphere and aesthetics are a valuable marketing tool in hospitality. I praise the Council for taking notice. This is certainly the correct decision and will assist in the survival of many local small businesses – at least for the immediate future’ he said.

Mayor Hewitson said the waiving of permit fees was not the only way Council was helping businesses in Unley.

‘We’re also very pleased to have established a partnership with peak industry body Business SA to deliver the Local Business Support Program’ the Mayor said.

‘This important partnership provides businesses with access to advice, support and networking opportunities as they navigate a new trading environment. The program has been well received by many of our business operators as a pivotal part of their business recovery.’