Clarence Valley Council building on Prince Street, Grafton.
Clarence Valley Council building on Prince Street, Grafton. x

Council's plan to take business to the streets

CLARENCE Valley Council is trying to make it easier for small businesses to operate.

With an initiative voted through the environment, planning and community committee, council will be reducing red tape in a trial across the Valley aimed at helping local businesses prosper.

With the Pacific Highway bypass in mind, council will use Grafton and Ulmarra as pilot locations to test how reducing red tape and waiving fees for using the footpaths could work to boost local business.

Council's access committee will do regular inspections of business taking advantage of this and will give advice about what council offers.

PREMIUM SUBSCRIBER EXCLUSIVECouncil to look to Taree's example in cutting red tape

For 12 months, as part of the trial, council will waive the fees for A-frame signs, merchandise displays, non-commercial street stalls, outdoor dining and buskers and performers across the Valley.

Council says from October 1 it will work in partnership with businesses to enliven communities.

However, council noted businesses would also need to work together.

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The trial was originally to be for six months, but Cr Richie Williamson moved an amendment for it to last 12 months so council could get an understanding of a full calendar year of holidays, long weekends and special events.

"I think this motion today is reflective of some of the things we have learnt from Taree," Cr Williamson said.

"It will give us a better understanding of how a community can get ready for a bypass.

"A 12-month cycle will give us a better feel for how this may or may not work.

"I would say Cr Karen Toms would be a strong advocate for the access committee to play a role in this initiative.

"(We) are genuine in that I think there are lessons to be learnt through (other bypassed towns') experience.

We are trying to find ways for it to be easier to do business, easier to shop and easier to employ people throughout the Clarence Valley.

Council will work with chambers of commerce and business representatives.

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Phil Belletty from Grafton Chamber of Commerce spoke about how for a long time many Clarence Valley businesses had wanted council to minimise red tape for using the footpath on their street and it was good to see council coming on board.

Businesses Working together

  • Common sense would need to prevail when putting anything on the footpath.
  • Cooperate and collaborate with businesses in your precinct to encourage people to stay in the community.
  • Be responsible, especially because businesses will be the first stop for people with compliments and criticism.
  • Businesses will need public liability insurance that covers their use of footpath.

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