Chamber of Commerce Briefing

(3.30pm, Thursday 23 May 2013, Lord Mayor's Reception Room)

Topic: Art & Science of Placemaking

Hello, everyone, welcome to our forum. I'd like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to their Elders. I also acknowledge the people of 200 nations who live in our City.

I also want to welcome our speakers - Kylie Legge of Place Partners, Brigid Kennedy of Walsh Bay Arts & Commerce, Nicky Ginsberg from the Chippendale Creative Precinct and the City's own Rachel Healy, who's just produced our inspirational Creative City discussion paper.

They'll tell you about some of the creative ways that they have found to stimulate business and local economies, while the City is also looking to our cultural and creative communities as an integral part of a strong and sustainable City economy.

I think we now have a more sophisticated and nuanced understanding of what makes a great city. The big set-pieces - an Opera House, a Hyde Park, the great commercial towers - are essential, of course.

But so are the village main-streets, the pocket parks and laneways, the quirky small shops that give contrasts of scale and add layers of variety to the experience of the City.

Your Chambers and business groups have an important role to play in building great precincts like these across the City and helping us deliver that sustainable economy.

There are 16,000 small businesses in the local government area and they form a vital part of the City's economy, Many are in the creative sector and all of them contribute to the diversity and richness of Sydney as a city.

We continue to look for ways of supporting small business. To give just some examples:

  • Our Village Precincts Partnership Program has now been rolled out to ten precincts
  • The Shopfront Improvement Grants Program which has been so successful in Redfern is now being expanded to give some much-needed help to Oxford Street and
  • Our Finegrain Grants Program has helped with the establishment of dozens of new businesses and small bars across the City Of Sydney
  • And of course, we run our Let's Talk Business seminars and our Business 101 forums, as well as today's forum.

So I thank you all for making the time to come here today and I thank our wonderful line-up of speakers for sharing their experiences and knowledge, and helping us find new ways to work together to transform our precincts and build flourishing local economies.