Outdoor trading

Two women sit in the outdoor dining area of a café, behind glass panels

What is outdoor trading?

Businesses using footpaths for commercial activities such as dining, displaying goods, or advertising is considered outdoor trading. 
Outdoor trading covers three broad categories: 

  • Outdoor dining includes tables, chairs, stand-alone heaters pot plants/planter boxes, umbrellas, barrier screens.  

  • Advertising signage includes using A-frame signs to advertise your business. 

  • Displaying goods includes products being placed on the footpath for sale or hire such as a collection of books. 

What the City of Ballarat is doing to re-open our hospitality industry

The City of Ballarat is supporting businesses to expand outdoor dining spaces and make the most of the number of customers dining in your venue.  

We have been working with hospitality businesses to help them create comfortable and safe outdoor dining spaces including: 

  • Waiving all outdoor dining permit fees until June 2022 and issuing new permits to allow footpath spaces for outdoor dining for the first time.  

  • If you have already paid your fees, you will be given a refund. This is in addition to waivers and deferrals of fees and charges, including liquor licensing fees, offered by the Victorian Government as part of the recovery plan to get businesses operating again

  • Putting traffic management plans to use parking spaces for outdoor dining. 

  • Supporting business who have questions or ideas about how they could expand outdoor trading 

  • Waiving Display of Goods permit fees until 30 June 2022.  

  • To limit pedestrian congestion, please only use Paywave or similar payment facilities outdoors.  

  • Allow 1.8 metres clearance from your shop front, giving clear access for pedestrians. 

  • Allow access for pedestrians to move between a car parks and the footpath.

Apply for Outdoor Dining Infrastructure

As we work toward enhancing outdoor trading across the city, hospitality businesses in Ballarat are invited to express interest in having outdoor dining glass wind barriers and/or in-ground umbrella sockets installed in the footpath outside their businesses.  
This program is funded by the Victorian Government's COVID Safe Outdoor Activation Fund.  
The City of Ballarat have delivered two rounds of this infrastructure. The third round is currently open for businesses to express their interest.  
At this stage, these are the final funds allocated to this infrastructure.  
Applications will close at 11:59 Sunday 13th March 
For more information, please contact Council’s Economic Development Team economicdevelopment@ballarat.vic.gov.au or call 03 5320 5500 

Apply for infrastructure

Apply for an Outdoor Dining or Outdoor Trading (Display of Goods) permit

  1. Read the Outdoor Dining and Trading Policy
  2. Submit your application
  3. We will notify you of the application outcome as soon as possible


What else do I need?

A site plan of the outdoor area detailing where you wish to trade.

To produce your site plan, you could use Council’s Intramaps, Google Maps or a hand drawn map.

Please indicate dimensions of overall footpath width and detailing trading, kerb and pedestrian zones (where applicable).

Photographs of the proposed footpath area.

You can upload this information, when completing your outdoor dining form online.


How much will it cost?

There is no cost to businesses 

The City of Ballarat has waived outdoor dining fees until June 2022. Once your outdoor dining permit is approved, it will be valid until July 2023.

There will also be no cost for a planning permit application fee associated with permits for liquor licensing extensions within outdoor dining areas.

Additionally, City of Ballarat will cover the cost of public liability coverage for those not insured for this activity, until further notice.

Apply for Temporary Advertising Signage permit

  1. Read the Outdoor Dining and Trading Policy
  2. Email the following to info@ballarat.vic.gov.au:
  3. We will notify you of the application outcome as soon as possible

Permits are not transferable
You will need to submit a new application if there is a change of licensee.

Do you have another idea for outdoor trade?

We're open to ideas! 

We are encouraging businesses to suggest ideas to maximise their outdoor dining/trading footprint temporarily (until 30 April 2022), to help with COVID safe outdoor activation and business recovery.  

Applications are especially encouraged from Ballarat businesses and groups that have been heavily impacted by COVID restrictions, including: 

  • hospitality 

  • fitness, recreation, dance studios 

  • creative industries and entertainment 

  • hairdressing and beauty services 

  • non-essential retail. 

send us your ideas

Artists, entertainers and creatives 

We want you! 

We want to complement Ballarat's outdoor activations with some fun and vibrance. 

If you are an entertainer, musician or creative and can support our efforts to help create a vibrant CBD, please get in touch with us at events@ballarat.vic.gov.au.  

Need staff?

Federation University have students looking for work. 
Employers can advertise their positions on EDGE, the student career services management system at FedUni. 
To register as an employer and advertise to FedUni students and graduates:  

The service is free and there are no limits to the number of jobs advertised. 

FedUni recommends providing a salary range, to help increase student responses. 

Community and Business Support Package

City of Ballarat's $1 million grant package aims to supplement existing funding available from federal and state governments, while also supporting some of the small businesses and community groups not eligible for financial assistance through other funding programs. 
The Support Package closing date has been extended to 5pm on Thursday 30 June 2022 unless grant funding has been distributed before this date. 
Find out how to apply for a Community and Business Support Package grant.

More information

You are welcome to discuss your outdoor dining or trading idea with us. We're very open to new ideas to support Ballarat businesses in their recovery.  

Please call our Customer Service team on 5320 5500 and ask to speak to a member of the Economic Development team or email us at economicdevelopment@ballarat.vic.gov.au

Download the Outdoor Dining FAQ document

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