Hunter Business Chamber has welcomed City of Newcastle's $5.5 million economic package in response to the coronavirus pandemic, calling the move "a very positive response".
The council on Tuesday night approved the stimulus measures, which feature a range of initiatives for businesses, individuals and community groups.
Among the initiatives, small businesses operating from council-owned buildings will receive a 50 per cent rent discount for the next two quarters, payment plans will be available for rates - with fees waived until mid 2021 - free education programs will be introduced and community grants will be available.
Chamber CEO Bob Hawes said it was good to see councils contributing to the support framework that other levels of government were putting in place.
"There's no silver bullet for keeping all businesses viable through this crisis but every little bit helps and some of the measures in the package will support business owners to either trade through or keep a lid on costs so that they are in a position to scale back up once the recovery begins," he said.
"Concessions such as rate relief, rent discounts, fee and red-tape reductions and seven-day payments for local suppliers will help businesses keep outgoings down and free-up cashflow, which is vitally important in small business.
"The free availability of Lynda and Studiosity training resources will provide businesses with a great opportunity to up-skill staff in areas like digital literacy, which is more important now than it has ever been. It also provides an opportunity for workers to engage in professional development while they are confined to home."
Mr Hawes applauded the council's pledge to lift its local procurement rate from 10 per cent in the next six months.
He said other Hunter councils had implemented local buying programs to stimulate their economies amid drought and bushfires.
"Encouraging local buying should be a priority everywhere at the moment and we can see real value in having these campaigns duplicated across the region and moved online," he said.
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