MRC introduces COVID-support grants for community groups

Published on 27 October 2021

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Murray River Council have resolved to include a Covid Support Grants category to its 2020/21 Financial Assistance Program.

Already comprising the Community Grants, Quick Response Grants, Local Heritage Fund and Youth Week programs, the Covid Support Grants will be added to the financial assistance framework to address the rising number of requests for assistance from local community groups.

“A number of our local community groups have reported experiencing financial difficulty because of COVID restrictions; struggling to meet commitments due to lack of income,” Mayor Chris Bilkey said.

“Not-for-profit community groups are vital to our local communities, yet they have received minimal if any financial support from State and Federal Governments during the pandemic.”

“So we have looked at our overall financial assistance program, which in the most part was developed to support our local groups, and have moved some allocations around to provide equitable and meaningful support for community groups adversely affected by COVID 19.”

To fund the Covid Support Grants, council will transfer allocated funds from its annual allocations and a portion of funds from the Quick Response Grants to ensure minimal impacts on the 2021/22 budget.

The next round of the Community Grants Program, which is due to open in February 2022, will also be suspended pending a review of requests for assistance at that time.

“We will review the situation in February based on how many requests for financial support we have received, and if required we will re-allocate the community grants funds to the Covid Assistance Program,” Cr Bilkey said

To be eligible for funding through the Covid Support Grants Program, applicants must:

  • be a not-for-profit community organisation operating within the Murray River Council Local Government Area,
  • demonstrate that when they are operating as normal, they provide a community benefit,
  • provide evidence of hardship due to Covid restrictions,
  • have acquitted any previous funding received from Council on time,
  • apply online using the specified application form and supply all required supporting documentation

Further information can be obtained by contacting Council’s Economic Development Team, with the application form expected to be available in the coming weeks.

A committee comprising the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and CEO will consider requests and provide recommendations of funding allocations to the next meeting of council.