Redlands Coast businesses and community groups have received a $370,000 helping hand to get back on their feet following COVID-19 restrictions.
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Council had awarded grants to 16 community groups and 81 businesses as part of its $2 million social and economic package to support residents, businesses and community groups through the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Funding worth $111,594 was made available through grants of up to $10,000 to local community groups to provide support and relief to the Redlands Coast community,” Cr Williams said.
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams with Salads Made Fresh owners Jeff McEvoy and Darlene Clemenkowff
Love and Hope Redlands provides healthy and nutritious meals for families and others in need. The group was inundated with requests as the financial impact of job losses hit.
With a grant to buy commercial fridges and freezers, group founder Adriana Kuhn said Love and Hope was now able to put food on the table for more families.
“We can keep more in stock and will be able to help everyone who needs it, when they need it,” Mrs Kuhn said.
U3A Redlands president Debra Barker said dealing with social isolation had been a major challenge, particularly when libraries, community centres and retail venues were forced to close during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The group accessed a grant to expand its use of cloud-based video conferencing to deliver courses such as German language and ukulele lessons to older residents.
“It’s been very important to stay in contact with our members and this grant has also provided us with new ways to bring together groups and those unable to travel,” Mrs Barker said.
“The grant has also been an amazing help for us to keep in contact with members who don’t have internet access or a computer. We were able to use some funds to cover paper and postage costs so we could keep our hardcopy newsletters flowing and keep people informed during the pandemic.”
Assistance for 32 local businesses, worth a total of $31,494, through Council’s COVID-19 Business Support Grant included up to $1,000 for professional advice services such as accounting or human resources.
Innovation grants of up to $5,000, worth a total of $228,055, were awarded to 49 businesses seeking to restructure their operations to ensure viability and continued operations.
The full list of community organisations that received a grant is provided below.
Redlands Coast Chamber of Commerce president Rebecca Young praised Council’s swift response and active support for local businesses.
“I’m across what other councils have done and they were nowhere near as supportive of businesses as Redland City Council has been during COVID-19,” she said.
“The Chamber has received very good feedback about the grants. This will help keep the doors open and it has allowed a number of businesses to invest and shape their longer-term futures.”
She said Redlands Coast businesses were resilient and had received strong support from the local community.
“There is some concern that what’s happening in Victoria could happen here,” Ms Young said.
“However, businesses are feeling optimistic and have shown how resilient they are. Grants like these really help.”
Victoria Point’s Salads Made Fresh went above and beyond during COVID-19, teaming up with other local traders including Pattemores Meats at Alexandra Hills, and Banjo’s Bakery at Cleveland, to home deliver food and essential supplies.
As primarily a wholesaler of fresh, pre-prepared salads, owners Jeff McEvoy and Darlene Clemenkowff saw an opportunity to expand their home delivery market.
With assistance through Council’s innovation grant Salads Made Fresh is implementing an end-to-end business automation and inventory management system that will significantly improve efficiency.
“This support puts us in a good position to kickstart something and give us the capability of holding on to the new business we are winning,” Mr McEvoy said.
Community organisation support grant recipients were:
• STAR Community Services
• Running Wild… Youth Conservation Culture Inc.
• Love and Hope Redlands Inc.
• Bay Islands Community Services Inc.
• University of the Third Age (U3A) Redlands District Inc.
• CPL – Choice, Passion, Life
• Donald Simpson Community Centre
• Victoria Point Redland Bay Meals on Wheels Inc.
• Redland Community Centre Inc.
• The Rock Family and Community Support Inc.
• St Vincent de Paul Society Qld
• Queensland Police-Citizens Youth Welfare Association – Redlands Branch (Redlands PCYC)
• Young Life Australia – Redlands Area
• Redlands Fellowship Property Ltd
• Jobs Association Inc.
• Cleveland Uniting Church