ALFRESCO dining is appearing in Moyne Shire towns as a handful of businesses receive a leg-up to serve more people outside as COVID-19 limits eating indoors.
The council has waived fees for outdoor dining and covered insurance for 15 eateries and cafes, located in Port Fairy, Mortlake, Panmure, Koroit, Woolsthorpe and Kirkstall.
Moyne Shire chief Bill Millard said the council was committed to working with shire businesses recovering from the impacts of the pandemic restrictions.
"Council is being flexible and working with businesses to accommodate their needs, whether that be using carpark spaces or extending to footpaths," he said.
The Mill Port Fairy owner Sarah Brittain said the cafe had extended its dining along Sackville Street thanks to an agreement with the council and the next door Ironbird Bookstore.
But Ms Brittain said bad weather meant so far there had only been small rewards and the business was considering whether it could install closed-in outdoor seating.
"Until we close that in, that's when we are going to see the benefit," she said.
"It would double our income if we can only have 10 people inside but 50 people outside, of course it's going to help us."
But Ms Brittain said any changes to the street needed to strike a balance that suited all businesses, particularly if eateries used carpark spaces for seating.
"We want businesses around us to bring people to Port Fairy," she said.
"If they fail because we are going out on the street, that can't happen."
Ms Brittain said the business had not closed during this year's lockdowns because it established a "heat-to-eat" line that locals supported.
"Adversity, it forces you look at things you wouldn't," she said.
Mr Millard said marquees or synthetic grass flooring were all proposals businesses could apply to their outdoor dining.
"Council invites local businesses to really consider how they can adapt to maximize how many people they can have at their premises."