Onus on landlords to fill empty CBD shops: Mayor
SOUTHERN Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie is confident smaller retailers in Palmerin St will benefit from the Rose City Shoppingworld development.
Cr Dobie, whose portfolio is economic development, described the shopping centre upgrade as a “significant economic boost for the region”.
“Many shoppers are seeking the experience of large mainstream retail outlets, offered by the bigger shopping centres,” she said.
“Smaller retail stores that offer specialised goods can benefit by their proximity to the big retailers.”
The mayor has developing the region’s economic potential in mind.
While she acknowledged there were empty shops in Palmerin St, she pointed out there were none in Rose City Shoppingworld.
Cr Dobie said landlords of empty shops needed to consider a few questions, including whether their rents were reasonable and how proactive they were in promoting vacant stores.
“The onus, really, is on the landlords to take responsibility for their own properties and businesses,” she said.
“If they want tenants in their shops, then they need to get out, be proactive and offer a point of difference or incentive to attract these tenants.”
The mayor is encouraging residents to get behind local businesses, stating the Economic Development Unit would promote the shop local, buy local concept.
“It’s important that not only residents shop locally, but local businesses buy from other local businesses as a way of reinvesting in the region,” she said.
Businesses are being encouraged to join the Chamber of Commerce and get involved with the Economic Development unit’s new residents program.
One of the features of the program is the inclusion of discount vouchers from Southern Downs businesses.
“ I’d really like to encourage businesses to consider this unique opportunity to engage new residents who could become new customers now and well into the future,” Cr Dobie said.
“With this initiative, council is striving to deliver new customers to local businesses, but once the customers arrive, it’s up to the local businesses to convert them to long-term customers going forward.”