The impact of the pandemic has pushed many businesses in retail and hospitality to the edge, bringing with it a constant threat of business closure – however, we can say that Wellington businesses are some of the most resilient in New Zealand! Like the old saying goes – when the going gets tough, the tough get going!

Good news – Wellington City Council are planning on releasing a support package for businesses to help them be ready for the expected economic upswing in the coming months. The Pandemic Response Plan comes with a reduction of annual licensing fees, deferral of rates payments without penalty for six months for Wellington businesses, and eased parking time limits and fees to benefit both business owners and customers.

Alcohol licensing fees

From 1 March 2022 to 28 February 2023, annual alcohol licensing fees will only cost a dollar! That, plus the ARLA levy, which costs between $15 and $75 depending on the risk of the premises. The same goes for annual food registration fees and outdoor area alcohol licenses which will cost $1 within the same period. If you have already paid your pavement license fees, the full amount will be refunded or carried over to cover next year’s annual fee, which will start on 1 July 2022.

Parklets for restaurants and cafes

Hospitality businesses are also encouraged to convert any adjacent on-street carpark into a parklet, where possible. Parklets offer more space for customers to social distance and allow restaurants and cafes to continue their operations while bringing more life and creativity to the neighbourhood. The good news is there won’t be any fees for approved parklets until at least March 2023!

Rates and rent for retail and hospitality businesses

There will also be fourth quarter rates deferral for retail and hospitality businesses who own their buildings as well. Qualifying businesses can defer their April to June 2022 rates without penalty for six months. There’s more – from March to May 2022, there will also be rent relief for some commercial leases in WCC-owned buildings for retail and hospitality businesses in the CBD waterfront and other venues!

Parking convenience to support hospitality businesses

Talk about convenience! From 21 March to 30 June 2022, cars can be parked for three hours from 5pm to 8pm on weekdays without having to be moved! What’s more is that parking fees are reduced to $1 during that period. Note though those hourly fees remain between $3-5 an hour with a two-hour parking limit for all other times during the week. On weekends, cars can be parked for three hours as well and fees will be at $1 per hour from 8am to 8pm, except for Clifton Carpark.

There’s no denying that Wellington is still living in the shadow of the pandemic even though most businesses are now ready to serve. If you have any questions, just give us a call and we’ll answer them to the best of our knowledge. We’re rooting for you and looking forward to chatting!

For more info, check out the Wellington City Council website –

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