LOCAL businesses have only a few more weeks to expand out of the confines of their shops and onto the footpath, by applying for a free outdoor dining licence.
Maitland Council’s city economy coordinator Andrew Brown said the Outdoor Dining Trial aimed to promote vibrancy in the CBD. “Promotion of the free trial program was delivered to over 70 fixed food and beverage businesses across Central Maitland,” he said.
“The response has been positive, with many businesses either obtaining a licence, requesting further information or pledging to apply.
“Council sees this as a great opportunity to add vibrancy and vitality to the local community and economy.
“The final number of licences issued will be reported to council at the completion of the trial.”
Earlier this year, councillors signed up to the trial program which provides a fast, streamlined, self assessment application process to allow restaurants, cafés and other food based businesses to secure a licence and provide outdoor dining.
Developed by the NSW Small Business Commissioner, the trial sees businesses only having to deal with a single application form and a fast tracked approval process with council waiving the administration fees during the period.
“Council continues to support small business by participating in the NSW Outdoor Dining Trial as part of the Easy to do Business program,” Mr Brown added.
“The NSW Outdoor Dining Trial enables suitable businesses to apply and obtain outdoor dining licences without the need to navigate numerous government forms and approvals.
“During the trial period … there are no application fees, or fees for council licences and annual furniture rental relating to Outdoor and Footpath Dining.”
The Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner will evaluate trial results and aim to develop a statewide policy for businesses.
The trial will end on December 31.
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