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Council launches program to address empty shops

As you may know, here at WynnumCentral we have been banging on about the empty shop issue for a long time. Every survey we run (including this last one) shows us that it is not just our concern but one that is shared by many local residents, especially those that have been in Wynnum long enough to remember it as a thriving shopping hub.

It’s evident that the problems in retail are not limited to Wynnum and the big question now – around Australia and around the world is – what is to become of retail precincts?

Brisbane City Council have recently – after lengthy discussions and deliberations – acknowledged that the empty shop issue is one that needs addressing, not just in Wynnum but across Brisbane – and just last week launched their Suburban Shopfront Activation Program to help reactivate shopping precincts.

As far as we can tell it is very similar to the Renew Australia model that we have wanted to get running in Wynnum for several years, originally in conjunction with the now defunct Wynnum Chamber of Commerce (see previous articles we have written about the Renew program here).

An important addition to the original Renew program (which we think will help kickstart the council’s program) is that there is also a Suburban Shopfront Activation Grant available to property owners and empty shop occupants who participate in the scheme. However a major limitation is that the grant for property owners and prospective occupants is limited to the first 12 eligible applicants (of each), a limit we assume applies Brisbane-wide. The property owner grants and the prospective occupant grants are $2,000 per successful applicant.

We very much hope the program is a success and look forward to it being rolled out more widely and – we also hope – financially supported by council beyond the first 24 applicants.

Anybody wishing to participate – property owners and potential users of spaces, can find out more details and register for the program here…

https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/about-council/governance-and-strategy/business-in-brisbane/business-opportunities/suburban-shopfront-activation

What are your thoughts on the new scheme? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page.

 

Photo: Fruit & veg shop in Edith Street that closed recently

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4 Comments

  1. The Council will achieve high occupancy rates in Wynnum while absentee landlords charge unrealistic rent & neglect to keep their buildings in good condition. Recent closure of the Edith St fruit shop illustrates the miserable attitude of some landlords & their agents.

  2. It’s a fantastic idea in theory, but I’m not sure how $2000 is going to attract or even benefit anyone. That doesn’t even cover a month’s lease for our shop in Wynnum. We’ve had a business in Wynnum for the past 12 years and it’s sadly a case of greedy landlords. Our lease was increased just recently by $300 per month and now we are seriously deciding whether or not to stay.

  3. I think this sounds good, but a side issue needs to be holding the owners of these properties accountable for up keeping the maintenance required to keep the buildings safe and operational for businesses wanting to lease them. It would also seem that many landlords are greedy with rents, which doesn’t help entice businesses.

  4. I’m not sure what $2000 is going to cover, having just closed my beauty salon in James Street due to the high costs and minimal foot traffic, I cannot see how a business is meant to be established with the large rental bond demanded up front (often 20k+) then the fit out of the shop, usually at least 30-50k… and if there are no events held to bring people to the main streets these businesses reside on and are relying solely on foot traffic, you can see how you are already running at a loss (paying all these expenses off) before paying two rents, trying to feed a family generally and keep stock and continuously updating marketing materials to draw in whatever foot traffic there may be..

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