Freo's View

FREO CITY SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES

Posted in city of fremantle, hospitality, local government, retail, shopping, tourism, traders, Uncategorized by freoview on August 21, 2019

 

The City of Fremantle has committed to continue with the delivery of its Business Capacity Building Program after the successful pilot program earlier this year.

The program provides small businesses in Fremantle access to subsidised training, support and one-on-one mentoring.

The City will continue to partner with independent small business advocates Freo Now and local business support organisation Business Foundations.

The City has also teamed up with the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Council WA to diversify the support on offer and provide alternative ways for businesses to engage with the program. Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said that there are lots of positive signs for Fremantle’s economy and some exciting developments on the horizon, but that the City recognises that it will take some time for small business to feel the benefits of it.

In recognition of the importance of growing the tourism sector, the City will be delivering three workshops facilitated by Tourism Council WA exclusively for Fremantle tourism businesses.

The workshops will focus on taking advantage of the global travel distribution system, which enables businesses to establish connections with wholesaler and travel agents to promote their products nationally and internationally.

The dates for the tourism workshops are still to be finalised but it’s likely they’ll be held in October, November and December this year.

Following a successful trial during the pilot period, the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce will deliver a series of ‘Set the Month in Motion’ workshops and podcasts throughout the year.

Fremantle Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Danicia Quinlan said the program would help small businesses to develop strategies to overcome the current economic headwinds.

In addition to mentoring and training, the Capacity Building Program also provides the Fremantle business community with access to the online grant portal, the Fremantle Funding Finder.

Powered by GrantGuru, the portal lists the grants and funding opportunities being offered by a range of agencies throughout Australia.

To apply for support through the Business Capacity Building Program or for information regarding upcoming workshops visit the Business Capacity Building page on the City of Fremantle website.

 

Roel Loopers

FREO LANDING ON THE MOON STATIONARY

Posted in city of fremantle, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on August 6, 2019

 

 

Port Stationary

 

When I mentioned all the long-established businesses in Fremantle last week I forgot to mention Port Stationary in the west end of High Street.

I walked by there today and saw this sign stating the business has been with us since the landing on the moon 50 years ago so that is very impressive.

Roel Loopers

 

POWER FAILURE BLACKS OUT FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, electricity, Uncategorized by freoview on August 2, 2019

 

 

A big power black out in Fremantle and the Western Suburbs was not a great start to the Friday morning. Residents and businesses in North Fremantle, the CBD, Beaconsfield and elsewhere were without power till 11 am.

The Express Cafe at the B Shed Rottnest ferry terminal closed due to lack of power and the J Shed artists were also idle for some time.

Western Power says that 40.000 homes were without power.

Roel Loopers

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PIPES FOR FREMANTLE UPDATE

Posted in city of fremantle, traders, traffic, Uncategorized, water by freoview on August 1, 2019

 

Businesses on Bannister Street, Collie Street, Packenham Street, Market Street and South Terrace (and surrounding areas) are invited to attend the Water Corporation Open House to learn more about the upcoming work in Fremantle.

Members of the project team will be available to answer any questions you may have about the upcoming work including:

How long will work take on my street and how will it be carried out? i.e. construction methods.
What side of the road will the work take place?
Will there be impacts to traffic and on-street parking?
How loud will the construction noise be and will there be dust?
What financial assistance can the Water Corporation provide?
Representatives from the City of Fremantle, Small Business Development Corporation and an independent financial loss adjuster (Tuesday 6 August only) will also be available to discuss their services and how they can help provide support during the work.

When: Monday 5 and Tuesday 6 August 2019 between 12pm and 2pm.

Where: Pipes for Fremantle Information Centre pop up shop, located at 66 High Street Fremantle.

Residents are also welcome to visit the pop up shop and the open house. The pop up shop is now open every Monday to Thursday between 10am and 4pm.

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FREMANTLE DOWN BUT NOT OUT!

 

walk 3

 

When things are down we have to remind ourselves of the good things as well, so I was thinking about the demise of Fremantle traders, the hardship of many retailers and the increasing vacancies of shops. Yep, we all know the problems are not unique to Fremantle and similar issues are happening in other parts of metropolitan Perth and WA,  but that does not help anyone.

What might be better for Fremantle though is to talk up our city’s uniqueness and achievements instead of having constant negativity in the news media, so I was thinking about all those iconic Freo traders who have been here seemingly ‘forever’.

I am sure my list is incomplete so please add all those long-term surviving traders I have overlooked.

The oldest shoe shop in metro Perth is Bodkin’s Bootery in Freo’s west end High Street, Bousfield and Warrens menswear have been here for as long as I know, and so has Ruocco’s pizza, the Capri, Culley’s, the news agency in the mall, Cicerello’s, Galati’s, Franks, the South Fremantle fish&chips.

Top that with the Sail&Anchor, National, Orient and Federal hotels, the Norfolk, Little Creatures and Newport, the Local and South Beach Hotel, the Tradeswind, Esplanade and Federal hotels, and the Fremantle Markets.

The Moore&Moore cafe has been open for more than ten years and so has the old Roma, that closed for a while but reopened. The Attic is still going well and so are Gino’s, Chalky’s, Picollo’s, and Duck Duck Bruce in Collie Street have been doing so well that they are opening a new second place in Bannister Street.

Kennedy’s the barber is also going well, and while Norm Wrightson’s will be closing  due to the Manning building development it has been THE iconic Freo barber for ages. And let’s not forget Bitches Brew the framers and art gallery, Kakula’s Sister,  and Japingka Gallery and Megan Salmon’s fashion shop.

The Manning building development with a new tavern, brewery and distillery will be great and so will be the Police&Justice complex tourist attraction with hotel, FOMO at Kings Square will offer a whole new shopping and hospitality experience, and a few new hotels  and residential apartment buildings will pop up in the centre of Freo over the next years as well

It might often feel as if Fremantle is on it’s knees but the fight is not over by a long way, and Freo people and traders know how to fight and the community knows how to support one another. We’ll get through these tough times by telling ourselves and others that Freo is a pretty outstanding place to visit, shop and live. We can do it Freo!

SHOP AND HAVE FUN IN FREO!

 

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE CHAMBER REJECTS WEST AUSTRALIAN CLAIMS

 

The Fremantle Chamber of Commerce has hit back at The West Australians article that casts doubt on Fremantle’s economic growth potential and position.

In a media release the FCOC wrote:

Unlike many urban centres in Australia, Fremantle is currently experiencing unprecedented investment and renewal underway, with the combined value of private and public investment in the pipeline totaling more than $1.3 billion.

The Fremantle Chamber of Commerce is actively connecting, uniting and assisting in the growth of a successful and vibrant business community that builds on Fremantle’s unique advantage, its heritage and its maritime focus.

Fremantle Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer, Danicia Quinlan said: “Fremantle, like most urban centres, is affected by the current wave of societal change in the way people gather, shop, dine, interact commercially and manage environmental challenges. Learning from other Councils, or even other cities locally,mand internationally, is an important way to navigate our way through these changes. We need Fremantle Councillors and the Mayor to be an active part of trying to find ways to manage all of these complex challenges.”

And more feedback from Fremantle traders:

The damage The West Australian is doing to Fremantle and its businesses far surpasses any perceived damage by council. Fremantle Markets is running at full occupancy with over 56,000 visitors last weekend for the 3 days period. Feedback from traders was “sales were excellent”.

Councils everywhere are going through a difficult time, however, the City of Fremantle Economic Development team and the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce regularly engage with businesses and continue to make many great improvements to the city” .

Natasha Atkinson – Chief Executive Officer Fremantle Markets and Winner Business News 2019 40 Under 40

Our focus is on Fremantle with our affordable and green residential developments. Our projects generally achieve an equity internal rate between 15-30% and we don’t see this slowing. Fremantle business has a great future as we focus on building on our competitive advantage of heritage, environmental consciousness and community spirit”.

Tao Bourton, Fremantle’s Yolk Property Group Director

It is exciting to see so many new businesses have decided to invest their potential in Fremantle not only for today, but for many years to come. We look forward to working together to build a unique and vibrant business community.”

Ivan Dezba, Fremantle Chamber of Commerce President and Managing Director, Benny’s

People more cynical than I am might well suggest the constant attacks on shopping in local councils are a PR exercise to promote urban shopping centres, from where more advertising dollars can be obtained than from the traditional High Street shopping destinations.

One week we read and see that all is wrong and violent in Cockburn, then it is Rockingham, Fremantle, Subiaco, Mount Lawley, Leederville, Perth, etc.

Is it PR, is it political to give less power to local councils, or is it just lazy journalism during slow news cycles?

A West End cafe owner told me that last Friday, Saturday and Sunday had been some of the busiest days they have experienced. Maybe it is time for the West and its sister TV and radio stations to be more balanced and allow Freo’s positive stories to come out in the open instead of always focusing on the negative aspects.

Roel Loopers

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RETAIL DECLINE A HUGE WORRY FOR OUR CITIES

 

Recent media reports in the West Australian and on TV news show that retail is severely struggling in Perth and that Fremantle’s worries are not unique in that regard. Of course that is cold comfort to our Freo traders.

The same complaints Fremantle traders make are made by Perth traders; parking costs, antisocial behaviour and homelessness.

According to one news outlet one in five shops are vacant in the Perth CBD, so that is even higher than in Fremantle, with one trader saying that they were experiencing the worst trading conditions in a decade, with whole days of no sales and no customers entering the shop.

The sad fact is that there is a lot of on-line shopping and that many people prefer the sterile all-weather comfort of shopping centres where there is little antisocial behaviour, no homeless people and three-hour free parking.

In summer shoppers escape to the cool airconditioned comfort of suburban shopping centres, which keep them warm and dry in winter, so that is something old-fashion High Street shopping can’t offer.

While free parking might be an option for big and wealthy Perth council a small city such as Fremantle is reliant on parking fees and parking fines revenue. Fremantle Council would have to substantially raise council rates if it introduced free parking.

Fremantle could however offer free weekday night parking to try to attract more people into town in the evenings.

What the demise of retail will mean for the FOMO retail concept at Kings Square, that will open mid next year, is yet to be seen, but don’t expect miracles in the short term.

There is no point in not supporting local traders but then complain that retail shops, cafes and restaurants close and that so many shops are vacant, so support our Freo traders!

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE COMPETITIVE LEASING POLICY UNFAIR TO ESTABLISHED BUSINESSES.

Posted in art, arthur head, city of fremantle, local government, retail, shopping, traders, Uncategorized by freoview on June 11, 2019

 

Item 1906-1 on Wednesday’s FPOL Committee agenda of Fremantle Council raises interesting questions as to why the City of Fremantle has a ‘competitive manner leasing policy’ for its properties.

The item is about renewing the lease of the Fremantle Public Golf Course at Montreal Street and officers suggest that Councillors agree to an exemption of the competitive manner leasing policy because the Lessee has a proven record.

I believe it is pretty fair to extend the lease for the present Lessee but question why that does not apply to other Lessees or License Holders in Fremantle, such as the artists of the Bathers Beach Art Precinct.

It is not as if the competitive policy allows the City to get more money for its properties, because the City sets the rents, so it can only be about wanting change for no practical reasons.

Why does the City want established artists who have been professionally and successfully operating to engage in a competitive process, when there is no guarantee that new artists will be equally successful and able to pay the rent? There have been several failures at Arthur’s Head where at the end the City had to write off outstanding rent because it was not recoverable.

There are not many sculptors who still do traditional life-size bronze sculptures the way Greg James does at J Shed, so that should qualify as unique as well.

Jenny Dawson has run her ceramic art business successfully for twenty years at J Shed and pays full commercial rates to the city, which are determined by an outside consultant.

I have heard the argument from Councillors that if the artists pay commercial rates at Arthur’s Head it won’t be difficult for them to pay full rates elsewhere in Fremantle, but that is bollocks, and even more so for retail art galleries such at Glen Cowans and David Giles.

Establishing a small business is bloody hard work, and starting somewhere else all over again sets back a business by years, so it is time Fremantle Council reconsidered its competitive manner leasing policy because all it does is penalise successful established businesses, and that is very unfair.

Roel Loopers

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COMMUNITY NEEDS TO SUPPORT LOCAL TRADERS

Posted in city of fremantle, hospitality, local government, parking, retail, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on June 7, 2019

 

retail

 

There is a bit of a discussion going on on Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt‘s Facebook page about the decline of retail when he posted the good article by Nathan Hondros on WATODAY about it. Hondros’ article “Striponomics’ The reasons Perth’s main streets are struggling is no big secret is worth a read.

The usual quick fixes are suggested by some readers; free parking and councils forcing property owners to reduce rents, but neither is a solution in a world where retail has been declining for at least five years and where major shopping centres have replaced traditional high street shopping.

I don’t know all the reasons for the decline in Perth, Mouth Lawley, Subiaco and elsewhere but I do know that the City of Fremantle has been trying hard to keep and get a diversity of retail in the city, instead of more and more cafes and taverns.

Fact is that councils can’t force property owners to lower rents and that many retailers are struggling because of rising outgoings such as power, water and gas. More competition might lower coffee prices for patrons but at the end that is not sustainable either for the operators.

Pop-up shops are the flavour of most councils but they are not a long-term solution because most of those who start a pop-up realise they can’t earn enough if they have to pay full commercial rates plus outgoings, so pop-ups do what their name suggest; they pop up and die after three or six months.

The always suggested free parking is not at all a solution because free parking will be taken up all day by commuters from Fremantle to Perth, backpackers, and Notre Dame students, so that would not leave too many bays for shoppers.

There is plenty of parking in Fremantle on weekdays and residents get free street parking before 11am and after 3pm.

Fremantle Council has a small ratepayers base so parking fees and fines are essential income for our city. Free parking would mean higher rates and I doubt property owners would agree that they had to pay for free parking of others. If it happened they would pass on the council rate increase to their tenants.

On very busy Sundays Fremantle might have the occasional parking issue, but surely no one expects Council to cater for weekend parking by creating more parking bays that would be vacant the rest of the week. It is like suggesting we should have 16-lane freeways to cater for rush hour traffic when for the rest of the day six lanes are sufficient.

I love the feeling of a good old high street, where there is a diversity of shops and were shop operators live above or behind their shops, as was the case in my home town of Hague in the Netherlands, where our family of seven lived behind the corner shop my parents ran, the pharmacist family on the other corner lived above their shop, the grocery shop people and the bookbinder next door lived behind the shop, as did the butcher on the other side of the street.

But times have changed and 25% of Australians engaged in on-line shopping last year, and money is tight with too many unemployed people.

There are never easy solutions, but we can all help by shopping local, even when it costs a few dollars more. Councils can not enforce shopping diversity or lowering of rents and we can only keep asking for property owners to keep the rents as low as possible so that our traders can survive and new traders are more willing to take the risk of starting in Freo.

Roel Loopers

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PIPES FOR FREMANTLE UPDATE

Posted in city of fremantle, community, hospitality, parking, retail, tourism, traders, Uncategorized, water by freoview on May 31, 2019

 

I received the latest update for the PIPES for FREMANTLE from the Water Corporation so I’ll publish it in full here so that the Freo community is aware of all the details:

Please read the below update about upcoming work to renew the ageing water mains across Fremantle.

Meeting with City of Fremantle

On Monday 27 May 2019 members of the Water Corporation project team met with City of Fremantle CEO Philip St John and Mayor Brad Pettit to discuss the work including concerns raised by the business community.

Together, we all agreed the work must be done as quickly and safely as possible, with the least amount of impact as practically possible to the whole community.

We are currently working closely with the City to identify flexible working hour options for each individual street for renewal. Each street is home to residents and businesses, or a combination of both. This means a 24 hour, seven days a week approach may not always be the best option for a residential street, as we do prefer to offer customers some reprieve from the work.

Other flexible working hour options can include working on the weekends, longer shifts and the potential for both day and night work shifts where appropriate.

Customer survey

You will soon receive an invitation to participate in a survey about your preferred working days and hours for the construction work to be carried out. This information and your feedback will be used in determining suitable working days and hours for the project.

The survey will be sent within the next week.

Awarding a contract of work

We’re still yet to award a contract. This is taking longer than expected, however we will share this information with all customers once it becomes available.

Project timeline

To ensure we’re vacating the area before the summer months, we’ve decided to split the renewal of streets into two packages of work.

Streets for renewal mid-July to November 2019

Bannister Street, between Pakenham Street to Market Street
Collie Street, between Marine Terrace and South Terrace
Essex Lane, between Collie Street and Essex Street
Essex Street, between Marine Terrace and South Terrace
High Street, between Little High Street and Market Street
Marine Terrace, between Cliff Street and Suffolk Street, and Howard Street and Price Street
Norfolk Street, between Marine Terrace and South Terrace
Streets for renewal March to mid-2020 (months be confirmed)

Pakenham Street, between Collie Street and Leake Street
Leake Street and Cantonment Street, between Pakenham Street and Queen Street
Nairn Street, between Pakenham Street and Market Street
Market Street, between High Street and Bannister Street
South Terrace, between Bannister Street and Norfolk Street
Please note, the above timings are subject to change pending a contract being awarded. Work will be carried out in a staged approach. We will share a proposed construction schedule and traffic management with customers once this information becomes available.

Pipes for Perth pop up shop – 66 High Street, Fremantle

A Pipes for Fremantle pop up information centre will be located at 66 High Street, Fremantle, for the duration of the construction work. Members of the project team will be on hand at the shop to discuss the project in detail, answer questions and listen to any concerns the local community or businesses may have.

Business information sessions will take place at the pop up shop between 18 and 20 June 2019.

Further information about the information sessions, opening hours and an official pop up shop open date will be provided shortly.

The next project update will be sent Friday 7 June 2019.

Who to contact

For more information, please visit watercorporation.com.au/pipesforfremantle. Alternatively, telephone our dedicated Pipes for Perth Customer Solutions team on (08) 9420 3529, available weekdays during business hours or email pipesforperth@watercorporation.com.au.

Kind Regards
Community Engagement
Water Corporation

 

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