I'm proud of the work we are doing at the City of Sydney to support our local small businesses.
This week I celebrated the opening of Julie Paterson's Cloth Fabric, the first tenant in our new creative hub at 113-115 William Street.
By offering affordable work spaces, showrooms and shopfronts on William Street, the City is giving creative businesses a boost and helping bring an exciting buzz back to some of our best streets.
We will soon call for expressions of interest for a mix of commercial and creative tenants to fill two buildings at 101-111 William Street and 113-115 William Street, both of which boast basement, street and above-ground levels that could house artists' studios, restaurants, bars, showrooms, offices and galleries.
The work on William Street follows our tremendously successful trial of providing 18 creative studio and retail spaces at 58-72 Oxford Street.
Businesses in our Oxford Street spaces include groups working in graphic design, digital technologies, architecture, ceramics and jewellery, as well as organisations such as Queer Screen, Music NSW and Sydney Guild.
I'm really encouraged by the results of this project. Tenants have spent around $8,500 a week collectively on local goods and services, as well as bringing an additional 1,000 visitors into the area from April to June.
The three shops facing Oxford Street showcased more than 200 artists - these are the kinds of shops people will cross the street for. One artist who showed their work in gallery Platform 72's window has attracted the attention of luxury brand Hermes, who have now commissioned pieces for their own shop windows in the city.
66 Oxford St has its first graduate too - the events website AroundYou.com.au has grown to the point they need to move on to bigger spaces. Their graduation gives us a space to incubate and accelerate more creative businesses.
Giving our creative talents a helping hand to set-up shop in affordable inner-city spaces creates new jobs, supports our local economy and creates new spaces for the businesses to meet, collaborate and be inspired.
This is just one of our initiatives to support local businesses and make our city a more exciting place to be.