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Support available for Sydney’s after dark businesses

A grant could help your business offer new night-time activities, put on gigs, or collaborate with artists.

The Covid-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for Sydney’s night-time businesses. These follow the difficulties many bars, restaurants and live music venues were facing before the lockout laws lifted in January.

We’re working to support restaurants, bars and other venues. One way we’re doing this is through our latest round of grants.

The grants help support businesses such as shops and live music and performance venues to diversify or expand their programming and upgrade their equipment.

These grants add to our other Covid-19 relief measures and they’re part of our long-term investment in Sydney’s night-time economy.

Learn more about the 3 grants on offer for live music and performance, night-time diversification and city centre activation.

Dulcie's Bar received support for new entertainment equipment

Live music and performance grants

These grants help businesses to upgrade their venues and equipment, improve acoustics and minimise noise to surrounding properties, and introduce live entertainment.

The last round of live music and performance grants were given to help upgrade venues.

These include:

  • The New Theatre, Newtown: Funding for a replacement roof
  • Griffin Theatre Company, Darlinghurst: Upgraded stage
  • Venue 505, Newtown: Roof and acoustic upgrade
  • Dulcie’s Entertainment, Potts Point: Seating, stage, audio and lighting upgrades
  • Golden Age Cinema and Bar, Surry Hills: Support to buy DJ equipment
  • Yulli’s Brews, Alexandria: Purchase of a sound desk
  • Giant Dwarf Theatre, Surry Hills: Technical equipment upgrades
  • MoshPit, Erskineville: New backline equipment

This grant is for activities from January to December 2021.

Find out more about live music and performance grants.

Grand Days in Woolloomoolooo has received a night time diversification grant to run events after dark

Night time diversification grants

These grants help businesses offer something different after dark.

Past recipients found that running creative events after hours brings in new customers. Having businesses trading later also helps to create safe and engaging night-time precincts.

The last round of night-time diversification grants supported evening events across the city, from literary dinners, playwriting events and filmmaker storyteller sessions to dance and sewing workshops.

Participants also enjoyed tea appreciation events and fermentation classes where they learnt to make breads, beers and wine, pickles and meat.

This grant is for activities from January to December 2021.

Find out more about night-time diversification grants.

CBD activation matching grant

The Sydney city centre has been particularly hard hit by Covid-19 regulations on social distancing. Businesses in the city have lost the patronage of thousands of workers, as well as the many tourists that normally visit throughout the year. And creative and cultural practitioners and enterprises have been greatly affected.

This grant matches your funding of up to $10,000 for businesses and creative and cultural practitioners for businesses in the city centre and Haymarket area.

It’s designed to help activate shopfronts or nearby spaces and encourage visitors to return safely to the city centre.

Find out more about the CBD activation matching grant.

Talk to us about your idea for funding

Apply for this grant round before Monday 31 August.

If you’re thinking about applying, join us at an online Q&A session:

What we’re doing to support our night-time economy

Sydney’s night-time economy is critical to our city’s future. It generates more than $4.2 billion in revenue each year and employs more than 35,500 people across nearly 5,000 businesses. And it’s at the heart of our vision for Sydney as a thriving global city.

Businesses that operate at night were among the first and hardest hit by Covid-19 restrictions. Many hospitality workers and musicians lost their jobs. And with many of these being casual or migrant workers, financial support from the federal government is limited.

It’s critical we do everything we can to help businesses get back on their feet and enter their recovery phases.

In our recent round of business support grants, we awarded 20 grants to night-time and live music businesses, worth a total of $222,334.

We recently approved Covid-19 relief grants for 771 projects, worth a total of $10.67m, which included 144 businesses operating at night.

Since September 2017, the City of Sydney has approved more than $1.4m in funding for over 80 grants to support local businesses through its night-time diversification and live music and performance grants.

We’re also working on planning reforms that will help enable later trading for shops and businesses, protect live music venues and allow more small-scale cultural activities to take place across the city.