Emerging businesses are setting up in empty shopfronts and bringing new life to our suburbs as part of Brisbane City Council’s plan to fill unused spaces and provide more opportunities to shop locally.
Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said the new Suburban Shopfront Activation initiative was helping small local businesses grow and thrive and ensuring suburban shopping precincts across the city are diverse, vibrant and welcoming.
“Small businesses are the backbone of Brisbane’s economy, with more than 124,000 small businesses across our suburbs, providing local jobs and fantastic retail offerings for residents and visitors.
“Running a small business isn’t easy, and there are a range of challenges they face, including spiralling electricity prices, staffing costs and increased competition.
“We understand those pressures and want to help small businesses find affordable retail spaces in Brisbane to start, run and grow.
“As part of Council’s Suburban Shopfront Activation, we are matching property owners with temporary tenants, and financially helping both parties along the way.
“Incentives of $2000 are available to help emerging businesses tackle the challenges of starting, running and growing their ventures in Brisbane and will cover a temporary shop fit-out, visual merchandising and leasing costs.
“The same funding will be available to the vacant shopfront owner to incentivise making their space available for short-term leases or lower rent, while creating potential opportunities for longer-term arrangements.
“An empty shopfront isn’t helping anyone, so we’re giving residents a helping hand to grow their businesses, while also ensuring our suburban shopping streets are filled with a range of offerings.”
Cr Schrinner said registrations were now open for property owners and interested tenants to express interest in being matched and receive the $2000 incentive.
“This program is part of Council’s commitment to stimulate the local economy and help Brisbane become the most small business-friendly city,” he said.
“I encourage everyone from start-ups and social enterprises to not-for-profits and home businesses to consider applying and share their business with the community.
“With applications now open we can start matching up businesses and property owners straight away, the grants are ready to go, and we hope to see the first pop-ups in action as soon as April.”
Cr Schrinner said this initiative was just one of the many ways Team Schrinner is providing more support to small businesses across Brisbane.
“In June 2019 I announced $2 million in cuts in fees and charges for small business, with more than 1700 businesses already benefiting from these reductions,” he said.
“In October 2019, I announced further initiatives to benefit small businesses including targeted training and free monthly events, which are in addition to the Lord Mayor’s Small Business Forums and Workshops which have had more than 6000 attendees since the program began.
“We are also continuing our significant investment in our Village Precinct Projects which helps make shopping streets more inviting, with more than $8 million invested this year to deliver projects at Aspley, Darra, Carina, Paddington Terraces, Seven Hills, Sunnybank, West Ashgrove and Wilston.
“Brisbane Marketing is also supporting our high streets with its Precinct Manager Co-Funding Program, a first-of-its-kind initiative, which will drive more visitors and foot traffic to the precincts, with a pilot program currently underway.
“We are all about providing the right opportunities for small businesses in Brisbane to we will continue to back small businesses and help residents start, run and grow their businesses now and into the future.”