Working with the business sector is one of the City's core priorities - by helping business create and retain good jobs, increase their wealth and investment and strengthen overseas links, we're ensuring Sydney remains globally competitive and innovative.
Some of the things we've done over the past 12 months to support businesses include:
- Establishing the Sydney Better Buildings Partnership - an Australian-first alliance between Council and Sydney's 13 major landlords who own nearly 60 per cent of the City's office space and more than $100 billion in property assets. They've committed to help the City achieve our 2030 sustainable target to reduce emissions by 70% by 2030;
- Connecting retailers and developers of major events through a new e-newsletter and Talking Shop retail forum;
- Setting up a new Retail Advisory Panel bringing together retailers, the NSW Government and the City to shape the future of retail growth and to cement Sydney's reputation as Australia's best shopping destination;
- Organising the City of Sydney Business Awards which have attracted record entries this year, with more than 640 businesses nominated and more than 67,000 votes cast;
- Providing $250,000 in support to not-for-profit business associations under our Business Support grant program;
Helping local businesses save more than $800,000 and enough water to fill 142 Olympic swimming pools with our Smart Green Business Program which we've just expanded to include savings on energy and waste as well;
- Providing five matching cash grants of up to $30,000 to help start up businesses revitalise City laneways such as macaroon cafe CreAsion in Alberta Street;
- Hosting four City of Sydney Let's Talk Business Seminars which support the 16,000 small to medium businesses that contribute more than $40 million to the economy every year; and
- Partnering with the NSW Government and Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority to improve visitor information services because we know tourism is an important part of the City's economy.
In the City's south we've established a grants program to replace roller shutters on shop fronts.
Local businesses can apply for cash funding of up to $3,000 under the matched funding program which is aimed at encouraging building owners or tenants to replace unsightly steel shutters covering their front windows and replace them with laminated glass or a trellised shutter.
Council recently awarded grants totalling over $17,000 to help remove 10 roller shutters from shopfronts on Redfern and Regent Streets. A grant of $3,000 was also approved to help remove the roller shutter from the front of Redfern Cellars on Regent Street.
Another grant of around $14,400 will contribute to the removal of nine roller shutters from Labels on Sale on the corner of Redfern and Regent Street - the gateway to Redfern's shopping area, viewed daily by up to 37,500 passing vehicles.
We've also been working closely with the South Sydney Business Chamber who represent the Redfern/Waterloo and Green Square area.
Council recently awarded the Chamber a grant of $129,500 to help them:
- Expand their website to better promote Redfern including a skills register and information about employment and consulting opportunities;
- Develop Relocation Kits and Welcome Kits to attract new business to the area and encourage existing businesses to remain and expand; and
- Promote benefits for members, such as educational and information events for members with neighbouring business associations.
The grant is provided under the Village Business Partnership Grant Program which is designed to support business partnerships and chambers which substantially represent a single village economy.
- Officers' reports on the roller shutter and South Sydney Business Chamber grants:www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/Council/MeetingsAndCommittees/2011/Committees/150811/cultural.aspx
- Village Business Partnership Grant Program:www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/Business/CityEconomy/VillageBusiness.asp
- Redfern Shopfront Improvement Matching Grant Program:www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/Business/CityEconomy/RedfernShopfront.asp