Business assistance - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Page last updated: 12:00 pm, Tuesday 3 November 2020

The City of Adelaide Small Business Task Force has been established to provide updated information and advice to businesses affected by COVID-19. Get in contact with them:

8203 7203
Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

You can also subscribe to the City Business Newsletter for regular updates and support during the COVID-19 situation.

COVID-19 support packages

It is a challenging time for our business community given the current public health situation. Below is a host of links to resources and COVID-19 financial support to help your business through this challenging period.

Small Business Task Force

The Council has established a Small Business Task Force (SBTF) to work in collaboration with Business SA. It provides consistent and up to date information to city businesses on support packages and other services available from federal, state and local government, peak bodies and industry associations. The team will be in regular contact with our Precincts and city businesses and would like to hear from small business to understand how we can help. 

Want to know more? Get in contact with us or see our frequently asked questions.

8203 7203

You can also subscribe to the City Business Newsletter.


City Support Package 

Recognising the current challenging economic circumstances arising from COVID-19 and the impact on businesses, Council has announced the following support:

  • City Business Support Package, in partnership with Business SA, provides specialised services to promote business capability and enhance positioning in an increasingly globalised and digitally connected marketplace.
  • Small business lessees (SMEs) in Council-owned buildings, Adelaide Central Market tenants and sporting and community lease / licence holders can apply to defer paying 50 per of their base rent or licence from 1 July 2020 until 30 September 2020 (subject to terms and conditions). The offer of deferred payments can then be gradually paid off, subject to lease / licence terms, within a maximum of two years.

This latest support for our community follows Council’s quick leadership response in April when we launched our $4 million City Support package, which provided 100 per cent rent waivers for commercial tenants in Council-owned buildings and traders in the Adelaide Central Market, and a waiver of separate rate for the purpose of managing and marketing the Rundle Mall precinct, for three months.


Rates Financial Hardship Support

Business ratepayers who are unable to make their rate payment by the due date can apply for remission or postponement by completing the Rates Financial Hardship Application Form

Completing this form will allow us to assess your eligibility for financial hardship assistance, including:

  • postponement of 1st quarter rates (due 30 September 2020) for three months until 31 December 2020;
  • no fines or interest charged on outstanding 1st quarter rates until 31 December 2020;
  • fines and interest suspended on all historic rates outstanding until 31 December 2020; and
  • no new debt recovery action will be instigated for any business that enters into a financial arrangement with Council (including any pre-existing debt).

Ratepayers can also negotiate their repayment arrangements (weekly, fortnightly or monthly), based on an agreement amount.

To provide immediate relief, Council has committed to freeze the rate in the dollar for the seventh consecutive year, delivering a benefit of $1.33 million to ratepayers this year. Council has also decided to freeze non-commercial fees and charges for the first time. These measures benefit residents, business owners and operators, workers and visitors, making it even more affordable to live in and come into the city

Community activation and recovery

The City of Adelaide launched the Recover + Reimagine Project to support recovery from the effects of COVID-19 and reimagine itself as a thriving city. The project crowdsourced ideas from the community, Council members and staff. 200+ ideas were received, ranging from promoting city walking and cycling trails to brightening the city streets with music and art.

The City of Adelaide invested $100k and gained $225k of external investment to make the Recover + Reimagine project ideas a reality. City of Adelaide programs were allocated ownership of the ideas and are continuing to implement ideas throughout the city.

Ideas implemented:

  • Live music in the city streets through paid local musicians
  • 140 outdoor heaters distributed to city hospitality businesses
  • Outdoor dining extension on Leigh Street, Peel Street and Gilbert Place
  • Festive lighting installed on Melbourne Street, O’Connell Street and Hutt Street
  • Outdoor Art Trail in North Adelaide in collaboration with a French art gallery
  • Dog friendly walking trail highlighting city businesses
  • Discounts at city businesses for UPark Plus members 
  • New categories in City Awards to recognise business resilience during COVID-19
  • Art installations on trees along Melbourne Street
  • Tulle blooms planted in Hindmarsh Square
  • Potted plants lining 88 O’Connell Street
  • Installation of new bike repair station along the riverbank
  • Installation of bike e-charging stations
  • Free community cycling lessons
  • School holiday activities for children in the Park Lands
  • Community created mural at the South West Community Centre


Grants for business and community

The City of Adelaide has facilitated Outdoor Activation Grants to assist enhancements to outdoor areas, Quick Response Funding for events and festivals and a $225k Christmas Incentive Scheme.

Outdoor Activation Grants

Supported by a grant from the Government of South Australia, the City of Adelaide Outdoor Activation Grants will provide grants to businesses across the city and North Adelaide. These grants are designed to assist small businesses who have been impacted by social distancing restrictions in response to COVID-19 to better utilise and enhance the outdoor areas adjacent to their business. The grants are to be used to fund a variety of medium-to-long-term street level improvements.

Outdoor Activation Grants are supported with $850k from Council and a $300k grant from the Government of South Australia.

This grant not only provides ongoing investment and support to small businesses within the city and North Adelaide but also provides employment for tradespeople to implement approved work such as the manufacture of blinds and awnings, painting of murals, and installation of lighting and signage.

Grants are offered on an 80% (Council) / 20% (applicant) cost share basis to a maximum of $10,000.

Events and Festivals Sponsorship - Quick Response Funding

As a result of physical distancing requirements associated with COVID-19 there has been significant disruption to the events sector, resulting in cancellation or postponement of some events.

In response to these impacts and to support the events Industry the City of Adelaide has approved the redirection of unspent funds to support the following requests:

  • Requests from events/festivals already receiving Council sponsorship support to assist with additional costs Incurred to deliver activities In-line with physical distancing requirements and restrictions;
  • Requests from not-for-profit event/festival organisers that did not meet the Sponsorship Program funding round process and timelines; and
  • Requests from commercial event/festival organisers operating on an expected profit basis whose financial viability may be impacted as a result of COVID-19.

Once-off funding of up to $10,000 is available for eligible requests until 31 May 2021 or until funds are exhausted.

“The City of Adelaide’s sponsorship funding investment in The Adelaide Food Fringe as a new festival concept, is a testament to their commitment to backing creative new ideas and events that can bring future and long term economic, cultural and social benefits to the city and the state.”  
Vic Pisani, Adelaide Food Fringe Founder / Director


Christmas in the City

City Christmas celebrations will start earlier this year to bring some extra joy to the city from the start of November. The celebrations and campaigns will roll out with a coordinated approach across the City of Adelaide, Rundle Mall Management Authority and Adelaide Central Market Authority.

A $225k pilot Christmas Incentive Scheme was opened to city businesses, artists, performers and communities to support experiences that celebrate Adelaide’s diverse community and dynamic city culture during the Christmas period.

Funding from $2k to $20k was granted to eligible applicants for window art, live music and performances, outdoor community events and small festivals, and makers markets.

The popularity of this Scheme resulted in 70 applications and the full allocation of the $225k budget.


Promoting city recovery

Following the easing of restrictions, the City of Adelaide released marketing campaigns to encourage people to return to the city, extend their length of stay and stimulate expenditure.

As a component of the Recover + Reimagine project, the #MyAdelaide campaign was developed to remind people why they love Adelaide and entice people back to the city with experiences and activities. Initially the campaign focused on city workers and residents who were already in the city but as the restrictions reduced, it also actively targeted visitors.

The #MyAdelaide Staycation campaign was developed to support city business recovery by inviting local and regional South Australian residents to enjoy a vacation in the city and North Adelaide.

#MyAdelaide Staycation outcomes so far:

  • $46.3k in bookings with 223 bed nights in August
  • 42 businesses registered with 47 offers
  • 92 website itinerary listings

Promoting the Mall

To drive economic benefit to business in the Rundle Mall Precinct, Rundle Mall Management Authority developed a spend and win campaign titled ‘WIN it all’.

Over an eight-week period, shoppers were encouraged to spend a minimum of $50 a day in the Mall for a chance to win a share of $28k in Rundle Mall gift cards.

The campaign was supported by an extensive media campaign to encourage spend and entry into the competition as well as in-store promotional materials and signage in the Mall.

To continue to drive entries and spend, prizes were drawn throughout the eight-week period with two $500 gift cards to be won every week and a $5k gift card every fortnight. The gift cards could be spent at any business within the Precinct, driving economic benefit to businesses.

  • 75% of retailers participated and spend occurred in over 525 businesses within the Precinct
  • $279 average spend per entry compared to average spend of $98

Promoting the Market

To keep serving the community, the Adelaide Central Market Authority worked with traders to offer a range of purchase options to minimise shopping time and maintain appropriate social distancing measures. This included in-store takeaway and delivery. Customers were also encouraged to phone or email orders, with traders able to offer in-car pickup at the Gouger Street loading zone.

Voluntary Sunday trading has also returned to the Market with a range of traders open from 8am to 3pm. A program of free family entertainment will also be on offer from 9am to 12pm every Sunday in October.

A new ‘ Your Local’ tactical plan was also launched in October 2020 with a TV commercial to continue to drive visitation and awareness of the Market post COVID-19.