Sydney City is one of the fastest growing areas in terms of jobs and residents. And the City of Sydney has played a large part in that. For the last ten years, we've made the area one of the most desirable places in Australia to live and work.
We've upgraded and introduced new public parks and open space, encouraged design excellence - not just from our own public buildings but by working closely with private developers. We've planted thousands of trees, upgraded main streets, introduced new transport options and childcare, restored heritage buildings, built new swimming pools, made riding and walking more attractive and safer and supported the growth of small bars.
The statistics back our work - five years ago, less than 50 per cent of our residents lived and worked in our local government area, that figure has now increased to 65 per cent.
We are the fastest growing residential area in NSW and in the past five years, we've seen 40 per cent of all jobs growth in metropolitan Sydney in our area. Some of the biggest jobs growth has taken place in our villages - Pyrmont and Ultimo grew by 46 per cent while Surry Hills and Redfern grew by 20 per cent.
During the term of this Council alone, over 70 significant policies, strategies and action plans relating to the development of the city economy and providing support for business have been presented for Council's consideration.
In June, Council adopted a $1.9 billion budget for the next 10 years. This includes an investment of more than $560 million in our CBD which means:
- $220 million investment in light rail and the pedestrianisation of George Street - a project the CBD business community lobbied hard for;
- $170 million for public domain works including links to Barangaroo, public space and footpath upgrades, new street furniture and our new way-finding system;
- $23 million to upgrade Hyde Park; and
- $146 million for other works including footpath upgrades and other public domain improvements.
Since 2004, we've approved around $25 billion worth of high quality development providing jobs and investment. In the last ten years, our own public infrastructure projects have won 50 national and international design awards.
Cities around the world compete for ideas, investment and talented people and we have an economic strategy designed to ensure Sydney wins that competition.
Here are just some of the ways we work with business:
The Business 101 seminar series is designed specifically for both existing and budding small business owners who aren't sure where to start, are daunted by the process or are seeking to grow their business.
For the past 2 years, the City has supported Sydney's two major fashion events - Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Sydney and Vogue Fashion's Night Out. These events have grown significantly, are reaching wider audiences, and more and more fashion retailers are taking part.
The NSW Business Chamber awards category of 'Excellence in Small Business' is sponsored by the City and recognises small companies that have attained significant growth and success.
The City offers a range of grants for businesses and sponsorships.
The City offers a range of programs designed to help businesses reduce their costs and their environmental impact.
Each year, Sydney welcomes over 350,000 visitors from China and this number is predicted to almost double over the next decade. The ChinaConnect workshop is designed to help retail, hospitality and tourism businesses successfully engage with visitors from China.
The City supports Springboard, an accelerator program exclusively for women entrepreneurs. The program provides women with opportunities to gain exposure to potential investors and partners.
Through the shopfront improvement grant program the City of Sydney encourages building owners or tenants to make improvements to their shopfront.
City staff work with key representatives from retail businesses on all issues affecting the sector in the city. The panel supports light rail and the pedestrianisation of George Street and has guided the City's Christmas program of events, decorations and marketing.