Call to support traders in CBD

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
An artist's impression of Margaret River's main street post-redevelopment, which includes the "peanut-about" designed for the Tunbridge Street intersection.
Camera IconAn artist's impression of Margaret River's main street post-redevelopment, which includes the "peanut-about" designed for the Tunbridge Street intersection. Credit: AMR Shire

Many of the region’s commercial retailers are facing a do-or-die summer trading period before next year’s Margaret River main street redevelopment kicks off, with community leaders urging residents to “shop local” in the lead-up to Christmas.

The call to support the local economy comes as the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River launched its new main-street marketing initiative this week, with a website mainstreetmakeover.com.au now live for residents.

Despite concerns about delays from some traders, the Shire’s latest time line has stage one construction running from February 1 until May, with future stages restarting on September 15 and some of the works dependent on funding.

The Main Street Makeover campaign was developed by the Shire with traders and the Margaret River Chamber of Commerce to keep the strip vibrant during construction and inform residents and visitors that Margaret River was still open for business.

“This campaign is a fun and positive way to build a buzz around the main street and draw people in,” Shire chief executive Stephanie Addison-Brown said.

“We’ve already seen a number of businesses coming up with some brilliant initiatives which they plan to do next year.”

Shire president Ian Earl said it was a critical time for traders but local business needed support year-round.

“While internet and out-of-town purchase may look tempting, it is the local business that pay local wages and support local community groups,” he told the Times.

“They need our support. Christmas can be particularly difficult as businesses stock up to support the community to sometimes find that they are not supported, and are left holding stock.

“We need to support them to support us — so buy local.”

New chamber president Melissa D’Ath said “buying local” was the main theme for 2019.

“We are working closely with the Shire and Transition Margaret River on an exciting ‘support local’ campaign,” she said.

“Everyone thinking local-first is important to keep the community vibrant and resilient with (an) economic downturn and (the) main street makeover looming.

“Research shows for every dollar spent on a local business, over 70 per cent stays in the community. This is a way we can better support local industry and services.”

The chamber was still considering a number of promotions including Hard Hat Happy Hours and a Main Street Makeover Shop Rewards Program.

Ms D’Ath encouraged all businesses to get involved.

“We think the cumulative effect of joining in and supporting this initiative, combined with other events coming to the CBD next year like the South West Street Festival and Emergence Creative Festival, will help even out potential impact to trade due to works going on,” Ms D’Ath said.

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