More alfresco dining, roving performances, chairs in squares and people meeting with friends and family at cafes and restaurants are all part of the vision of the NSW Government and City of Sydney partnership to revitalise the Sydney CBD this summer.

The NSW Government will provide $1.5 million to fund a CBD activation grant program as part of its $20 million partnership with the City of Sydney, which has now been signed.

The jointly funded $3 million program will support delivery of CBD activation grants of between $5,000 and $50,000 to businesses, creatives and community groups to encourage people back into the city centre.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said signing the funding agreement was part of the NSW Government’s COVID Recovery Plan and an important milestone in the State and City’s collaboration to support creative ideas that will boost business and reanimate the CBD.

“Sealing this deal with the Lord Mayor today is a real step toward bringing to life many of the ideas that came out of September’s Summer Summit,” Mr Perrottet said.


“This funding will turn ideas to action and encourage people into the CBD in a COVIDSafe way, which is key for businesses who rely on summer trading for a big part of their revenue.”

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said as more people returned to the city, businesses could continue to open their doors and support more jobs.

“We have partnered with City of Sydney to revitalise Australia’s jewel in the crown and we are committed to make sure our great city continues to shine,” Mr Ayres said.

“The CBD activation grants will support partnerships between retailers, cafes and restaurants with musicians, performers and artists, with the aim to attract and entertain visitors, and to revitalise spaces that have been underused since the pandemic began.”


Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the new round of grants will help bring people back to the city.

“We need to allow and encourage businesses to operate outdoors, and we need to support our creative and cultural life to activate and draw people back to our city, safely,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“We want to ensure our city businesses survive in the short term and create new opportunities for them to thrive in the long term.

“I encourage anyone who works in the city – from businesses and retailers, to hospitality and community services – to consider applying for a grant to help kick-start their operations, re-engage staff and bring people back into our city.”

Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said the NSW Government was committed to reactivating the Sydney CBD. “When people think of Sydney, they should think of everything the outdoor lifestyle has to offer,” Mr Dominello said.

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“We showed with the Alfresco Taskforce that we can move quickly to open up new dining and drinking opportunities heading into summer.”

The new grants follow the $72.5 million support package released by the City in March for small businesses, artists and the creative and community sectors impacted by the pandemic.

The City has also expanded to Surry Hills the popular Chairs in Squares program, waived fees for footway dining and health and building inspections, provided rental support for tenants and childcare services and brought forward $23 million of capital works to support construction in the city.

The Grants opened to businesses on 29 October and will close on 7 December and form part of the NSW Government’s $15 million contribution to the $20 million partnership with City of Sydney.