The Andrews Labor Government is working with local communities to better understand the trading conditions for small businesses in local shopping strips in metropolitan and regional Victoria.
A forum co-hosted by Minister for Small Business Adem Somyurek and Minister for Suburban Development Marlene Kairouz today heard from business owners, traders, industry experts and councils on the challenges and opportunities for our retail shopping strips.
The forum is part of a broader initiative by the Government to help small businesses across the state, which includes the Small Business Regulation Review into the retail sector that has delivered practical reforms around retail leases and red tape cuts.
A wide range of topics were discussed including regional variations in vacancy rates and their impact, the changing profile of traders, the successful responses from councils in local communities and overseas trends.
In the latest CommSec State of the States report, Victoria’s economy scored highest on retail spending – 15.8 per cent above decade-average levels in the June quarter.
Victoria’s economy relies on small businesses, which make up 98 per cent of the business landscape. A recent survey from NAB of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Australia recorded the highest increase in business confidence among Victorian SMEs.
Retail shopping strips not only grow local economies through job creation but are also vital community hubs for residents to connect and socialise, contributing to the overall liveability of our suburbs.
As noted by Minister for Local Government and Small Business Adem Somyurek
“Victoria is home to many vibrant and successful retail shopping strips – but we know there are also challenges for our traders.”
“This forum has helped all parties learn more about a complex issue and drive the growth of small businesses operating out of shopping strips.”
As noted by Minister for Suburban Development Marlene Kairouz
“Retail shopping strips are not only key business and employment hubs, they are also part of the community’s social fabric, making it even more important to see our small businesses thrive.”