DINING businesses in the Macedon Ranges can apply for funding through a State Government grant which hopes to boost the hospitality industry after COVID-19 impacts.

Macedon Ranges Shire Council is encouraging businesses to apply for grants of up to $5000 to expand outdoor dining and welcome back patrons.

The funding, which is part of the government’s Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package, will help businesses pay for items like umbrellas, outdoor furniture, and screens to help them transition to bigger and safer outdoor dining spaces.

The funding is available for licensed and unlicensed cafes, restaurants, takeaway food businesses, pubs, taverns, bars and clubs.

The government has also put in place processes to enable quick turnaround in relation to extending or approving liquor licenses, and council officers will help businesses determine which options are available for them in each location.

Site visits from council officers are in order to assess and progress outdoor dining ideas and applications for businesses wanting to extend their outdoor dining footprint.

Applications to expand outdoor dining spaces on private land will need planning assessment and may need to undergo a normal planning permit process.

Business owners and operators can call council’s local laws team on 5422 0333 or email mrsc@mrsc.vic.gov.au to discuss their needs, and more information will become available at mrsc.vic.gov.au/outdoor-dining.

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