To support local business Council will continue to offer discounts on footpath dining and extend the incentive program to include goods for sale on footpaths.
Health and regulatory services portfolio spokesman Cr John Learmonth said the initiative was introduced last year and included a fee waiver for new footpath dining applications and a 50 per cent reduction in annual licence fees.
“These incentives were well received by the business community who have taken up the opportunity to offer footpath dining for the first time or, thanks to the discounts on offer, were able to add more seating to their outdoor dining areas,” Cr Learmonth said.
“This is not only a great benefit to the business but it helps to make our CBDs more vibrant and welcoming places.
“Customers can also choose to enjoy their fare in the great outdoors and celebrate the wonderful climate on offer in our region.”
Cr Learmonth said Council had determined that not only would those discounts continue but for the next financial year the initiative would be extended to include goods for sale on footpaths.
“Following enquiries from interested businesses, we are pleased to be able to offer a 50 per cent discount on the annual fees for any businesses displaying goods for sale on footpaths.
“It is hoped that this reduction in fees will support local businesses and further stimulate the local economy by helping to draw in more customers.”
Goods for sale on footpath discount helps businesses
Isis Hardware owner Terry Harney said he approached Council requesting the fee reduction because having goods for sale on the footpath outside his store increased customer numbers.
“I think the ability to display goods in this manner adds something to the character of the CBD as well as allowing shop owners to promote their business which, in the end, is reflected in profits that allows job creation,” Mr Harney said.
Mr Harney said he was absolutely thrilled that Council had decided to reduce the costs associated with displaying goods on the footpath.
“Everything is on the rise. With competition you’ve got to keep it at small margins.
“If all costs keep increasing we’ve got to start putting prices up on things.
“I understand that there is a regulatory requirement regarding Council having oversight over the use of their footpath for this practice and a 50% cut in these costs is really beneficial, and, in my case enables me to address increased costs associated with public liability insurance.”
Under Council’s Subordinate Local Law 1.2 (Commercial Use of Local Government Controlled Areas and Roads) 2011, Footpath Dining and the Display of Goods for Sale on a Council owned footpath require approval.
These approvals have associated fees that are due annually and are determined by the number of chairs for Footpath Dining or the number of square metres for Display of Goods for Sale.