TWO shire councils are waiving fees in a bid to help struggling hospitality outlets but Warrnambool City Council won't unless a new council makes that decision in December.
Moyne Shire Council says its food registration fee waiver will amount to a collective saving of $53,000 among shire businesses while Corangamite Shire has also waived the same fees, expecting to save the shire's businesses about $90,000.
Warrnambool City Council declined to comment due to caretaker period, however it's understood no decision has been made on waiving food registration fees.
For Port Fairy's Rebecca's Cafe owner Rebecca Nelson the savings, which amount to hundreds of dollars, are another leg up following waivers for street furniture fees and permits.
Ms Nelson said last weekend's daily trade doubled compared with trade during stage three coronavirus restrictions, which eased last week.
"Since the restrictions have eased recently they (the council) have been around and had a chat about how we could make room for more tables. They are very proactive at the moment," Ms Nelson said.
She said every "one per cent makes a difference" and it was a relief that locals and regional visitors were returning to the cafe.
"There is so many people in town, a lot of regular regional people," Ms Nelson said.
The cafe since March has also used the footpath to display food items for sale.
Moyne Shire mayor Daniel Meade encouraged local food outlets to get "spatially creative".
"It's terrific that our local cafes and restaurants are able to welcome back diners albeit with limited numbers," Cr Meade said.
"Moyne Shire is doing all it can to relieve financial and red tape pressures on businesses, to allow them to concentrate on attracting customers back to their eateries.
"It's all about adapting, it's all about working with the current environment, and we hope to see local businesses enjoying the return to operation and getting back on their feet."
Moyne has also employed two new officers tasked with assisting businesses recover and adapt from the impacts of COVID-19.
The officers will work closely with businesses to help them navigate council services, government grants and business advice.
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