Freo's View

HISTORIC SIGNS OF FREO’S COVID-19 PERIOD

Posted in city of fremantle, community, covid-19, health, hospitality, Uncategorized by freoview on April 6, 2020

 

 

Closed cafes, bars, restaurants, pubs and shops are the norm in Fremantle during the Covid-19 restrictions, and many have started to offer take-away food at reduced prices.

A pharmacist sign states there are no face masks or hand sanitisers available, another sign reads that the cafe no longer accepts cash, while a backpackers warns that if social distancing rules are not adhered to a fine will apply.

It is hard to adapt to some of the changes and stand back from people when talking to them, but it has to be done. Things are already slightly improving in Australia, but that does not mean we should be getting complacent.

While there is real hardship out in the community, there is hope that this will be over a little bit sooner than anticipated, and hopefully lessons have been learned and we can move on to create an even better society.

Stay safe, Freo!

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE COVID SIGNS

Posted in cafe, city of fremantle, covid-19, health, hospitality, Uncategorized by freoview on April 2, 2020

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Two more historic photos of Fremantle during the Covid-19 crisis.

Roel Loopers

DISAPPOINTING SUPPORT FOR FREO BUSINESSES.

 

I am very disappointed that Fremantle Council is only offering a deferral of rent payment during these incredibly difficult times, and only for businesses who have closed or partially closed.

Up to six months deferral of rent payment on City-owned properties from the time of full or partial closure of the business.

I am well aware that the City of Fremantle is financially struggling, and now that there is hardly any income from parking fees and fines the Freo coffers will look much worse soon, but we need to back our business community, because once the Covid-19 crisis is over we want to see Freo back as soon as possible to its old vibrancy.

To just defer rental payment won’t be enough for many businesses, and they will not re-open when all this is over. It is not good enough, Freo Council! Scrap the rents for at least six months, instead of the token gesture of deferring payment!

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE CITY COVID BUSINESS SUPPORT

 

Free on-street parking and up to six months deferral of rent payments on City-owned properties are some of the measures the City of Fremantle has put in place to help businesses through the COVID-19 crisis.

The City will also defer all statutory fees for six months and has waived alfresco dining fees.

Immediate business support measures at a glance:

  • Free on-street parking in Fremantle for the next three months (posted time limits still apply).
  • Up to six months deferral of rent payment on City-owned properties from the time of full or partial closure of the business.
  • Waiving of all alfresco dining fees.
  • A full refund on all cancelled bookings of City facilities.
  • Free access to business support advisory services via the Small Business Capacity Building Program and complimentary one-on-one advisory sessions to provide information about the federal and state stimulus packages.
  • Inspection fees waived for food businesses providing take-away.
  • Exemptions from planning approvals for many changes of land use and fast tracking other approvals for business.
  • Fast-tracking of payment for creditors.
  • Continuing to invest in major capital works program in Fremantle including the Kings Square renewal project.
  • Promotion of businesses via the City’s Visit Fremantle social media platforms and website.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said the business relief measures were designed to supplement the COVID-19 support already being offered by the state and federal governments.

“This is clearly a very difficult time for local businesses, with many of them restricted to online or take-away trade and others choosing to close down altogether,” Mayor Pettitt said.

“The City has taken steps to take some of the pressure off local businesses by deferring rent payments for tenants of City-owned properties and deferring or waiving a number of fees and charges for other businesses.

“We will also negotiate with City tenants on a case-by-case basis to make adjustments to outgoings like power and water, and we will offer individual payment plans on council rates to those who are experiencing financial hardship.

“I expect we will be making further announcements about rates in the coming days.”

Mayor Pettitt said the free on-street parking would apply until the end of June and may be extended beyond that if necessary.

“Time limits will still apply but this will at least make it easier for businesses and residents to access our key retail areas and support those businesses that are still trading in these challenging times,” he said.

The City of Fremantle, as part of its Small Business Capacity Building Program, has partnered with Business Foundations to deliver complimentary one-on-one advisory sessions to provide information about the federal and state stimulus packages.

A complete list of the state and federal support measures is available through the Grant Guru portal on the City’s website.

Business Foundations can offer the service online, over the phone or face-to-face if required. Advisors will spend an hour with each business providing tailored advice.

To register for a session, which is provided free of charge through the City’s Small Business Capacity Building Program, businesses simply need complete a registration form, select COVID-19 Federal Stimulus Advisory and email to business@fremantle.wa.gov.au.

 

COVID FREMANTLE SUNDAY NIGHT

Posted in BOOKS, city of fremantle, community, covid-19, food, health, hospitality, Uncategorized by freoview on March 29, 2020

 

 

In my quest to capture the history of Fremantle I went for a walk, only my second one of the day, just after sunset to show what our port city looks on a Sunday night during the coronavirus crises, when pubs, bars and cafes are closed, and only a few open for take away food.

It was for me great to see two bookshops in town open after dark, because as an avid reader it would really worry me to have to live through the next six or more months of social isolation without being able to get hold of more books.

It is quite eerie through walk through Freo on a night that is normally so vibrant, but I actually also liked it. There is something very peaceful, and somehow reassuring, to see that we can live without all that entertainment and hype. Life goes on. Adapt!

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE MOJO’S NEEDS YOUR HELP!

Posted in bar, city of fremantle, hospitality, Uncategorized by freoview on March 24, 2020

 

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Mojo’s Bar is closed but with your help we can reopen when the time is right. 

Firstly, We thank all our unique and amazing staff, artists, suppliers, neighbours and punters for making Mojo’s Bar the extremely special place that it is.

Mojo’s Bar is closed as result of COVID-19 pandemic. Being the intimate and unique venue that we are, for the safety of you, the musos, the punters, our managers, our staff and all others who call Mojo’s Bar home we cannot continue to operate.

Having closed last year to invest heavily in sound proofing, Mojo’s Bar, despite essential help from our supportive landlords, is not in a position to weather this storm.

The little bar that can, the bar that was always open, always cultivating new talent and is a safe space for all in the community now needs your help. We are fully aware that this is happening to every venue and that everyone needs help but as custodians of Mojo’s Bar/237 Queen Victoria St North Fremantle, a space that has presented live original music for close to 50 years, we know Mojo’s Bar in particular is worth fighting for.

Through sheer desperation with nowhere else to turn, Mojo’s Bar have opened this GoFundMe page to provide funds to pay overheads and liabilities outstanding such that we can then be in a position to reopen when it is safe to do so.

With your help Mojo’s Bar will always be there for all of Freo, WA, Australia & The World!

All contributions over $75 from those in Australia will earn a one off pressing “I helped save Mojo’s” T-shirt.

Click here to donate.

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NEW FREO ERA OVERSHADOWED BY CLOSING CAFES

Posted in cafe, city of fremantle, community, employment, health, hospitality, Uncategorized by freoview on March 23, 2020

 

 

Today should have been a special day for Fremantle with the start of a new era, with the first 300 of the 1700 staff of the Department of Communities moving into their new offices at Kings Square. Unfortunately this will be overshadowed by the fact that all our cafes, restaurants, bars, taverns, nightclubs will be required to close from 1pm today because of the coronavirus. Only take away will be allowed from those premises.

While this is a necessary measure by the Federal Government the hardship on small and medium businesses and sole operators will be devastating, and I have grave fears that quite a few of them will have to close their doors for ever.

Wholesalers will end up with with all the food the hospitality operators have ordered but will now have to cancel, sole operators who supply cakes and muffins, etc. to cafes will no longer have that income, and it is likely that most of the causal staff will lose their jobs. I hear that was already announced in a staff meeting at Bread in Common yesterday.

I am very optimistic about the resilience of the human race, and I am certain we will get through this unprecedented worldwide crisis, but I am gutted for all my friends in the hospitality industry. I feel really down, deflated and so incredibly powerlessness, and all I can do is wish I’ll win Lotto so I can go around an hand out big wads of cash to my fellow Freo people and help them get through this period of hardship and heart break.

Everybody has to do their bit! It was mind blowing to see  a Fremantle dancefloor packed like sardines on Saturday night and people flocking to beaches and all ignoring the social distancing requirements. I observed some of that irresponsible behaviour at Bathers Beach venues on Sunday afternoon. Now new laws had to be introduced to stop that nonsense

Roel Loopers

 

FOUR SQUARE METRES PER PERSON IN CAFES

Posted in cafe, city of fremantle, health, hospitality, Uncategorized by freoview on March 20, 2020

 

This is important for the Fremantle hospitality industry!

Latest from the PM this morning in a live media conference:

New rules today for cafes, restaurants, all enclosed spaces. On indoor non-essential gatherings, PM says the rule is one person per four square metres.

Maybe the City of Fremantle can be supportive here and offer cafes larger alfresco areas, without increasing the fees, so more people can enjoy a coffee and meal outside, instead of in the confined interiors of cafes.

Roel Loopers

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WILL KINGS SQUARE ACTIVATION REMAIN A PIPE DREAM?

 

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The Fremantle community should get used to the black hoardings at Kings Square with Sirona Capital announcing in the Fremantle Herald today that the FOMO retail concept will now only open toward the end of this year, so yet another delay for the activation of our city square.

One has to ask if the Fremantle Kings Square activation is just a pipedream based on hope only, because while Sirona blames the coronavirus for the delay, the article in the Herald makes it pretty clear that they have failed to sign up a significant number of retailers for the exciting and innovative FOMO concept, that was lauded as going to be a first in Australia, and a whole new shopping and hospitality experience.

I questioned earlier this week what was going on with FOMO when the West Australian published an article about the Varsity sports bar being the first to sign up for FOMO, and one can get little confidence out of Sirona Capital managing director Matthew McNeilly’s claim in the Herald that five key anchor tenants are in different stages of being signed up. It simply means they have not signed them up yet, although McNeilly told the Herald there was no shortage of interest in FOMO. With all due respect, I take that claim with a grain of salt.

Things will not get better for a long time and many new ventures and developments will stall or falter because investment money will be hard to get because of the Covid-19 crisis. The economy will struggle all over the world, and that will no doubt unfortunately also have a huge impact on Fremantle and our traders.

We can live in hope, but we need to pragmatically and honestly deal with the reality. These are not the times for spin.

Roel Loopers

HOW MANY TENANTS AT FREO’S FOMO CONCEPT?

 

When will the Fremantle community find out the truth about how attractive the Kings Square Redevelopment Project is to retailers and the hospitality industry?

Last year it was reported that Sirona Capital has stated that retailers’ interest in the FOMO concept had been better than anticipated, but today the West Australia reports on their property pages on page 55 that the American-themed sports bar Varsity is the first tenant to sign up for FOMO, which is due to open in April this year, after a few delays.

There is no doubt that the coronavirus crisis will make business owners even more reluctant to sign up for commercial spaces anywhere in Australia and the world, so how well is FOMO doing in that regard?

Surely businesses who want to be part of the FOMO opening in a month time would have signed up a long time ago, but looking through the windows of the Kings Square buildings there is no indication of any shop fronts inside the buildings at ground floor level at all.

As a big supported of the Kings Square Redevelopment Project I am seriously worried, so maybe an honest update from Sirona Capital would be appropriate.

Roel Loopers

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