Hobsons Bay council has received 66 submissions in response to this year’s draft budget, with more than two-thirds objecting to proposed rates increases.
Under the draft 2020-21 budget, the council proposes to increase rates by 3.89 per cent for commercial properties and 8.78 per cent for industrial properties.
Residential rates will decrease by an average of 0.48 per cent based on January revaluations, while petrochemical rates will increase by 1.14 per cent.
Hobsons Bay’s four main trader associations, representing more than 1000 small businesses, have united in an unprecedented move to oppose the proposed commercial and industrial increases.
Newport Traders Association, Williamstown Chamber of Commerce, Altona Village Traders Association and Laverton Traders Association have lodged a joint objection.
Speaking on behalf of the four groups, Ilch Mickovski addressed councillors at last week’s council meeting to hear budget submissions.
“For the first time in our history, we stand united as one in representing small business in Hobsons Bay,” he said.
“Small businesses have been challenged like they’ve never been challenged before.
“COVID-19 has definitely made a huge impact on their capacity to trade, their livelihood and wellbeing.
“We completely understand that government restrictions are required in order to protect everyone but unfortunately this comes at a cost to small businesses.
“Currently, small businesses are working harder than ever to be able to trade and navigating between landlord/bank repayments and further stage 4 restrictions compliance, with the risk and fear of an outbreak being linked to their business.”
The final budget is expected to be adopted on Tuesday, August 25.