Business boost for inner west
Inner West Council will boost local business in the inner west, with the adoption of several initiatives in the 2017/2018 Budget.
The initiatives are part of Council’s commitment to revitalising local economies.
In Haberfield, Council will provide a $30,000 marketing package to assist local businesses experiencing a drop-off in trade due to road closures caused by WestConnex works.
An Economic Officer will work with local businesses to enhance market reach and reinvigorate interest in the Haberfield village, with a ‘Shop Local’ campaign promoting the Village.
“Haberfield Village is an ‘eat street’ mecca with traditional Italian bakery, pasticcerias, gelaterias, cheese shop, hand-made pasta store and numerous cafes and restaurants,” said Inner West Council Administrator Richard Pearson.
“Unfortunately though, those retailers are experiencing a downturn which is entirely not of their own doing, but caused by outside forces – in this case, disruption from on-going WestConnex works.
“It makes sense for Council to step in and assist the speciality shops which make Haberfield village such a unique destination,” Mr Pearson said.
At Tuesday night’s Council meeting, Council also adopted a 12-month embargo on outdoor dining fees across the local government area.
“The three former councils of Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville all had different arrangements in place,” Mr Pearson said. “This embargo will give us time to examine the best way forward with footpath dining licence fees
“Street dining adds vibrancy to main street shopping areas and has a knock-on effect to other shops.
“Our local Chambers of Commerce asked us to look at having a more fair and consistent approach, and I was happy to oblige,” Mr Pearson said.
“Council’s seven Community Priorities - identified by our residents following three months of consultation – include ‘Local industry and business’. These initiatives illustrate Council’s commitment to helping our community achieve their priorities,” Mr Pearson said.
Mary Bonfante, proprietor of Frank’s Fruit Market and Vice President of Haberfield Chamber of Commerce, said her shop had lost “30 to 40% per cent in business” since the closure of Ramsay Street for WestConnex works.
“I’m very happy Inner West Council has come on board with the marketing campaign. And the business community also welcomes dropping the footpath fees. We’ve been here 43 years, and we welcome any initiatives that will improve local business.”
The new measures come after Council’s successful revitalisation of Norton Street Leichhardt, and Rozelle and Balmain main streets, which included the Darling Street Mainstreet Revitalisation Implementation Plan, a Shop Local campaign, infrastructure grants, special promotions and events, and the roll-out of main streets Wi-Fi.
“Just as Council was able to achieve a dramatic drop in retail vacancies along Norton Street, I’m confident that we’ll see a difference in other inner west main streets as well,” Mr Pearson said.