The decision to continue with the Fremantle BID-Business Improvement District was deferred on Wednesday evening by the City of Fremantle’s Finance, Policy and Legislation Committee because members were not convinced that BID has found its niche yet, in what Chair Andrew Sullivan called the Holy Trinity of BID, the Chamber of Commerce and the CoF. It had five years to find that focus.
New BID CEO Tim Milsom told the Councillors about plans for new events, markets, getting external funding etc. but the elected members questioned if it should be BID’s role to organise events or rather to connect traders better with events the city and outside organisations already put up.
How do businesses, especially retailers, get to benefit from events and what are the programs, outcomes and benefits councillors asked.
Olwyn Williams, the CEO of the Chamber of Commerce spoke against extending the BID contract for another three years.
It was questioned how effective and successful BID could be when relying on a handful of volunteers and staff.
BID has been successful with running treasure hunts during school holidays which attract large numbers of children with parents who stay in Fremantle long, discover new businesses and often come back a second day to do the whole list.
For example the Sculpture@Bathers show could have a fringe events where artists who are not invited to the main show on Bathers Beach exhibit their sculptures in the windows of shops all over Fremantle and walking tours to view them could be organised by BID. Retailers could offer specials to people who come to events and tap into social media more and better.
For BID to want to organise new markets they should realise that there are already too many markets around Perth according to unhappy stall holders. The Friday night market at Princess May Market failed to attract new people and the Fremantle and E Shed markets, and the very successful South Beach food market and Growers Green farmers market cater for weekend visitors already.
The challenge for BID, the Chamber of Commerce and the City of Fremantle is to attract visitors to Fremantle at the start of the week. Freo is doing okay on Fridays and quite well on Saturdays and Sundays, but needs to get busier the first four days of the week. What can be organised to turn Freo from a weekend destination into an all week one?
I think the City will extend BID but it would require that the organisation deeply contemplates its role and find its focus because it has not been able to do that in BID’s first disappointing five years.
If my information is right I understand BID bought the artwork in front of Bathers Beach House and that is definitely not their role.
It should not be up to the CoF to come up with new ideas for BID because the concept is that this independent organisation would cut through red tape and connect with traders. If BID has a lack of concept, focus and ideas than the City’s marketing and economic development department might as well do it in house an use the $ 350,000.00 a year BID has been getting the last five years.
I hear there will be fantastic news for the Fremantle business community when the former CEO of the Chamber of Commerce will be signed up as the new CEO of the Fremantle BID-Business Improvement District.
Unlike other FCoC heads the ever-smiling Milsom hardly ever complained about Fremantle council but with his can do attitude proactively initiated events to the benefit of everyone in Freo.
I fondly remember when Milsom suggested to have an Indonesian show at the Bathers Beach Sunset Food Market and he found out on the Saturday morning that the musicians had arrived but without instruments. No worries for Milsom who borrowed, begged and hired the instruments required and the evening was a great success.
That is the kind of positive problem solving attitude that Fremantle needs, so welcome back Tim. I am delighted!
The Fremantle Chamber of Commerce will be holding a State of the State Lunch on October 21 at the Esplanade Hotel with Labor leader Mark McGowan.
Before Western Australia heads into election mode, this is your opportunity to hear directly from Hon Mark McGowan MLA, Leader of the Opposition on what plans a WA Labor State Government has for the Fremantle region. As a major hub for Western Australia’s trade, tourism, engineering and marine industries, the policies of any future State Government will have a major impact on the economic viability of the region.
This lunch will include a 2 course meal and beverages.
Time: 11.45am registration for a 12pm start – concludes at 2:00pm
RSVP by Tuesday, 18 October.
21 October 2016
From 11:45 AM through 2:00 PM
Esplanade Hotel Fremantle – by Rydges
Indian Ocean Suite
I am sad to hear that the delightful and beautiful Victoria Willets, Executive Manager of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce will be leaving the organisation to travel the world.
Victoria has been at the Chamber for five years and started there as an intern and moved up the ladder from receptionist to members officer and finally EM.
Her great positive energy and lovely smile will be missed in Freo.
There will be a goodbye party for Victoria but only for members of the Freo Chamber, so contact them for details.
Thanks for all your good work for Fremantle, Victoria!
The Fremantle Chamber of Commerce has appointed Ms Olwyn Williams as the new CEO to replace the very active and much-liked Tim Milsom.
Ms Willimas has extensive experience in stakeholder management, retail, governance, asset management and business development. Her previous roles were CEO pf the Tax Council of WA, Principal Policy Advisor at the Department of Culture and the Arts and genaral Manager of Spare Parts Theatre.