FUTURE OF FREMANTLE BID GROUP IN DOUBT
The FPOL committee of Fremantle Council will on Wednesday deliberate if it will extend the BID-Business Improvement District that was set up four years ago.
BID has applied for an extension of five years where it would continue to receive the differential rates the CoF charges CBD businesses which are members of BID, but the officer’s recommendation is not to do so and for the City of Fremantle to allocate that money to a few main events that will attract more visitors to Fremantle during the off season period where retailers and the hospitality industry struggle to stay afloat.
Even at the start of BID, when I was a member of the inaugural board, there was concern that staff costs were taking up too much of the allocated money and that there was not much left to significantly support and promote local businesses.
BID has been successful in my opinion with small things like treasure hunts during school holidays, but has failed to make a major impact. BID did not offer substantially different ideas to create a tangible difference that could not be handled in-house at the City’s economic development and marketing department.
It might be better to have a small BID-like committee of business people and CoF staff that will become responsible for how the differential rate will be spent.
What Fremantle businesses need most is for the city to become a seven day a week shopping destination instead of just a weekend attraction. I believe that is where the differential rate money should be allocated to.