Freo's View

ROB FITTOCK CEO OF NEW FREO NOW

 

Freo Now-BID

 

FREMANTLE BID-Business Improvement District, abandoned by the City of Fremantle to make way for Destination Marketing, has reinvented itself as FREO NOW, as I reported a few days ago.

FREO NOW will be reliant on Member contribution as it no longer received the differential rates the City of Fremantle charges CBD businesses.

BID members are offered a 50% discount. For just $ 2 per week, or $ 100 a year Freo Now will continue to support local traders, advocate the City on their behalf, organise events and training, etc. This offer is available to every business in Fremantle, not just those in the CBD and former BID area.

Former Fremantle Councillor Rob Fittock will be the interim volunteer CEO of the new Freo Now during this transition period, and he will provide support and help. He aims to visit all the traders, but if you need urgent support you can call Rob on 0431 562 887.

Roel Loopers

 

 

 

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FROM FREMANTLE BID TO FREO NOW

Posted in bid, city of fremantle, hospitality, local government, retail, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on June 30, 2018

 

Freo Now-BID

 

The Fremantle Business Improvement District-BID ceased to exist, but it will continue in a different form and with a different name- FREO NOW.

Fremantle Council decided to use the differential rate CBD traders pay as part of their funding for the new Fremantle Destination Marketing and that meant the end of BID in its present form and the financial support from the City of Fremantle.

I will try to have a meeting with BID chair Karl Bullers soon to find out what role Freo Now want to play in marketing and supporting the small retailers in Fremantle.

Roel Loopers

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BUSY EVENING AT FREMANTLE COUNCIL

Posted in city of fremantle, community, democracy, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on April 19, 2018

 

It was a busy night at the full Ordinary Council of the City of Fremantle last night.

The Destination Marketing Fremantle was on the agenda, that will probably mean the demise of BID, and it sailed through with just a few mentions that BID had done a good job connecting small businesses and that the Economic Development and Marketing Department had a gap to close with the retailers in that regard.

Councillors expressed they hoped BID would survive in a kind of precinct form so that traders would stay connected and helped as volunteers at events.

It was unanimously decided to go ahead with the new marketing concept but $ 50,000 will be allocated from the budget for the Winter Festival and the Long Table Dinner.

Also-yes still!-on the agenda was the Sunset Venues lease for the No 1 unit at J Shed.

Councillors disagreed with speakers that the operators would not get the go ahead from the Western Australian Planning Committee for a smaller tavern, as there were examples on Rottnest Island and elsewhere where hospitality venues had been allowed on A Class Reserves and in heritage precincts.

It was mentioned that it would be hard to find another business that would be willing to spend a lot of money to put all the required infrastructure in and that Fremantle would get an improved asset.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said they had taken it back to where we originally wanted it to be as a small bar/cafe and restaurant that would activate the area.

The proponents will only have 12 months to start substantial development or the lease will be terminated. Only Councillors McDonald and Jones voted against the item.

Only Councillor Strachan did not support the License Agreement with the South Fremantle Football Club for Fremantle Oval. He questioned why the city was giving the club so much financial support in difficult fiscal times for the City.

The adoption of the new Precincts Policy was also approved with Councillor Sullivan expressing that he would like a more organic precincts system where groups would be less formal.

And the Dog Exercise and Prohibited Area Policy also got the tick of approval from our elected members.

Roel Loopers

NEW MARKETING MANAGER SHOULD HAVE SAY ON NEW FREO STRATEGY

Posted in bid, city of fremantle, hospitality, local government, retail, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on April 16, 2018

 

I have been thinking a bit about the push for Destination Marketing Fremantle, which would likely mean the end of Fremantle BID, and why there is a sense of urgency when we hear that Tom Griffiths, the present Manager Economic Development and Marketing, will be leaving the City of Fremantle.

There is no doubt that the new marketing manager will have her/his own thoughts about retail versus destination marketing, or a combination of both, so would it not make more sense for Fremantle Council to wait with its decision until a new marketing manager has been appointed and our elected members can find out from that new officer which direction (s)he wants to go with a new marketing strategy?

I agree with critics that BID has not worked as well as it could have. It connected Freo’s traders well but failed to have a big picture approach, but let’s also be clear that BID specifically was created for the CBD retailers and hospitality traders. But I also believe that the City’s Fremantle Story is not a great marketing campaign because it too did a lot of small things and there is far too much and hard to find information on that website.

Destination marketing will attract people to Fremantle, but an essential part of it needs to be to communicate with visitors what they can do in Fremantle every day, but also on the specific day(s) they are here. That has been lacking forever and it needs to change, so that people will linger longer in Fremantle. Getting back to basics with a What’s On In Freo Today might just be the start.

Starting a new marketing strategy just months before a new marketing manager will be appointed makes no sense, so Council should be very careful not to rush a decision about Destination Marketing Fremantle prematurely.

Roel Loopers

NEW DESTINATION FOR FREMANTLE MARKETING MANAGER

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on April 12, 2018

 

There has not been an official announcement from the City of Fremantle yet, as far as I am aware, but there is the intriguing situation that Tom Griffiths, the Manager of the Economic Development, Property and Marketing Department, who has been pushing most for the Destination Marketing Fremantle concept and no longer supporting BID with the differential rates, will not see it through to fruition because he will be leaving Fremantle City to lead the  South West Group which is based at Garden City.

The South West Group is a voluntary organisation of six councils; Fremantle, East Fremantle, Cockburn, Melville, Kwinana, Rockingham.

Tom Griffiths has done a very good job at the City of Fremantle and will very much be missed. The challenge now is for the CoF to replace Tom Griffiths with another creative person and not a pen pusher.

Roel Loopers

CAN BID SURVIVE FREMANTLE DESTINATION MARKETING?

 

The future of the Fremantle Business District-BID is in doubt after the FPOL Committee of Fremantle last night approved the Destination Marketing Fremantle concept, which will see the additional differential rates CBD businesses pay go to the marketing department budget and no longer to BID.

It is very doubtful BID will be able to continue without funding from the City of Fremantle, although several councillors mentioned that there was a need for something like BID and that is had done grassroots work well.

There were public speakers in support of continuing BID and others supporting the new destination marketing strategy, but the consensus of the elected members was that a new marketing approach is needed and that BID was not the way forward.

Supporters for BID said BID was a lifeline and a voice for small retailers and that BID had businesses working together for the first time. That is true and nothing stops traders from continuing to work together in a kind of precinct format, I believe, so not all is lost and the good momentum BID created could continue.

BID wanted another 12 months extension and believed it could become self funding, but they had already been granted the extension and could not show they were raising enough money to be able to continue without council giving them the differential rates.

Councillors said this was not a debate about BID versus the destination marketing strategy but if Council wanted a new marketing approach for the city. It is not either or, Councillor Andrew Sullivan said. He also said the City needed to support the concept of BID and offer more support for retailers.

Councillor Rachel Pemberton said that we needed to acknowledge the incredible work BID had done and that BID was always about collaboration and grassroots level liaising with businesses, and that can continue.

Councillors agreed the City needed to try something different as the present marketing is not working and businesses are not happy with it.

Councillor Doug Thompson wanted to know before the item goes to full council next week who the marketing experts would be the marketing department wants on a panel of experts.

Councillor and FPOL chair Hannah Fitzhardinge said clarity had been lacking about what BID does and what the marketing department does.

I want to make one point that gets ignored at the Freo City marketing department and that is the lack of information the City sends out to tourist destinations in the city. More often than not the tourist guides at the Roundhouse are not informed about festivals and events, so they can’t send tourists to them. We have never had a poster or leaflets for example to promote the Winter Festival and other events that happen on the Esplanade. We have begged for info about the Hidden Treasures music festival, Street Arts Festival, etc.etc. We can’t even tell tourists what’s on at the Fremantle Arts Centre.

There is also no communication between the tourist destinations, so Roundhouse volunteers don’t know about special exhibitions or events at the Maritime Museum, Fremantle Prison, etc. That needs to be coordinated by the City’s marketing department and could be as easy as emailing a short list of what is on next week. It’s very good to get more people visiting Fremantle, but we need to be able to keep them here longer and tell them what else they can do.

Roel Loopers

TIMING TO SCRAP BID ALL WRONG

Posted in bid, city of fremantle, hospitality, local government, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on March 28, 2018

 

Fremantle Council is considering scrapping the BID but the timing for it appears to be all wrong. Why do it now when there is major development going on and much more starting soon, that impacts negatively for the next years on CBD traders. They need nurturing, and at least that is what the Business Improvement District is good at.

Jenny Marslen of BID is a great nurturer. She connects regularly with our traders with positivity and great energy and that reassures them. BID is good at doing small things right but I don’t know that they get the big picture yet.

The scrapping of BID is probably driven by the Economic Development and Marketing department director, who expressed from the moment he started his position in Fremantle that he was not a fan of BID. I probably agree with him that BID in its present form does not work as well as it could, so it needs to reinvent itself, step up and change, or falter.

But is handing over $ 300,000 to the ED&M department a better idea? I can’t see much evidence that the Fremantle Story marketing is making a tangible difference, and while it gets a lot of hits on its website it is a hard to navigate the clutter of hundreds of small promo windows.

I also wonder why the officers suggest to council to create a group of marketing experts to guide them, and even to engage a marketing company. Why do we pay marketing officers  high wages when they need outside help to do their job? It happens all the time in all forms of governments and should be strongly scrutinised.

A marketing, PR or advertising consultant will want at least $ 200-300 per hour to sit around a table for a chat, without any guarantee of improvement, and the plan to also have a member of the Chamber of Commerce on the expert marketing panel is baffling, unless the FCC does have a professional marketing person on their board.

I agree that BID needs to improve or go, but why do it now when the inner city looks like it has been bombed, and it won’t get any better soon with the development of the Manning building, and two developments in Henderson Street due to start, and it will get a lot worse once the massive Woolstores shopping centre development starts.

The scrapping of BID is not a priority as it makes little sense to start a new major marketing campaign for Fremantle before the Kings Square Project is finished. What the city should do instead is to start working on creating a marketing and festivities campaign that will be implemented in the last quarter of next year when Kings Square will become a great attraction for shoppers.

I suggest to leave the nurturing of the CBD traders to BID for the time being but put them on notice that if they do not change BID will be abandoned at the start of the 2019-20 financial year in July next year. But if Fremantle Council scraps BID make sure to offer a job to BID’s Jenny Marslen who is a great asset to the group and Fremantle.

Roel Loopers

TO BID OR NOT TO BID IS THE FREO QUESTION

Posted in bid, city of fremantle, hospitality, local government, retail, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on March 20, 2018

 

The City of Fremantle is seeking the community’s views on the best way to promote Fremantle as an attractive destination to shop and enjoy.

The City of Fremantle’s current marketing activities include the Fremantle Story website, magazine and social media platforms, school holiday activities and other promotions and also the Fremantle Business Improvement District (BID).

Fremantle BID is funded through the City Centre Differential Rate levied by the City of Fremantle on commercial properties with the Fremantle CBD.

Local businesses are being asked if they support continuing the existing model, or would prefer to see the City’s destination marketing budget combined with the differential rate funds to expand the overall program.

The one-year funding agreement with the BID due to expire at the end of June.

The City worked with the business community to set up Fremantle BID in 2012 to address the economic impact of many years of decline in daily visitor numbers to Fremantle’s CBD.

It was a five-year program to support local businesses, with funding extended for a further year in 2017. In that time, the City has contributed around $2.2 million to the BID in differential rate funds.

 

The alternative model would establish a group of marketing professionals and business representatives to advise the council on how to get the best value from marketing activities and the biggest benefit for local business.

Under this proposal, the City’s funding of Fremantle BID would cease at the end of the current financial year.

People can find more information and provide their views on the proposal on the My Say Freo website.

 

NO FREMANTLE BID MONEY FOR AUSTRALIA DAY FIREWORKS

Posted in aboriginal, australia day, city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on January 20, 2018

 

Channel 9 TV had a bit of a beat-up story yesterday about Fremantle not having Australia Day fireworks this year because the local business group BID did not want to finance them.

Federal Liberal MP Ben Morton claimed that this was due to activists abusing small businesses. It’s the first thing I have heard about this and was not reported in the local media, so where does Morton’s claim come from?

Fact is that the Business Improvement District-BID did a survey among their 400 members and there was no clear support to continue with financing the fireworks.

As I pointed out last year the fireworks in Fremantle were never a great trading day for the broader business community because all shops had closed well before the masses arrived, and so had many cafes.

Australia Day fireworks were an excellent trading day for Fishing Boat Harbour operators, but did not do much for the rest of the CBD traders, as most people arrived late and left the city straight after the fireworks were over.

It’s a done deal for the time being, so let’s move on. Those who want big Australia Day celebrations and fireworks can enjoy them in Perth, and Freo has it’s ONE DAY celebrations on January 28.

A survey this week showed that most Australians don’t care about the date or even know why January 26 is supposedly significant.

Let’s be happy that we live in such a good country and great city!

 

Roel Loopers

ONE DAY poster

PEOPLE COUNTERS MEASURE FREMANTLE FOOT TRAFFIC

Posted in bid, city of fremantle, fishing boat harbour, Uncategorized by freoview on December 12, 2017

 

 

The Fremantle BID-Business Improvement District has ordered three more electronic people counters in the CBD, bringing the total to seven.

One of them, installed by Fremantle based A Beautiful City, was put up yesterday above the boardwalk of the Fishing Boat Harbour.

People counters inform the business communities, local councils, shopping centres, etc. about foot traffic around the city.

Roel Loopers

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