Local agency engaged to support vibrant business precincts

23 Aug 2019

City of Newcastle has engaged a local agency with over three decades of experience helping Hunter businesses thrive, under a new Business Improvement Association (BIA) support services contract.

Purser Corporate Communication (Purser) has been appointed in response to independent recommendations made to improve the use of Special Business Rate funds, which are collected to promote, beautify and develop the City’s business precincts.

City of Newcastle Director Strategy and Engagement Brett Smith said Purser would provide a range of support services to BIAs, allowing them to focus on planning and executing projects and events that make vibrant business districts.

“By providing a shared resource for BIAs to manage their administrative and compliance obligations, we are freeing-up their time and resources to focus on delivering great projects and events that will activate, promote and enhance their precincts,” Mr Smith said.

“Purser will act as the key point of contact between the City and each BIA. They’ll be responsible for ensuring that requirements, such as business plans, annual reports and other administrative material is adequately developed and provided as required.

“The City is confident that Purser will help bridge a key gap in the BIA process, ultimately rewarding the community with improved events and projects over the next 12 months.”

Purser Managing Director Meg Purser said that the new BIA model provided opportunity for businesses to support growth and economic opportunity across the city.

“The revised BIA structure has been designed to enable a panel of business people to develop and manage promotional and marketing strategies, as well as beautification projects that enhance their precinct, attract business and encourage visitation.

“It will also provide the opportunity for each precinct to work closely with other BIAs and the City of Newcastle particularly for larger scale initiatives and activations,” Ms Purser said.

Engaging a BIA Support Service is a key outcome from the independent review into the BIA model, which considered concerns about administrative inefficiencies and compliance obligations.

Established in Newcastle in 1984, Purser Corporate Communication provides specialist communication and community engagement services to the business, not for profit and public sectors.

The consultancy has undertaken extensive work across both public and private sectors and more specifically with business representative organisations and economic development projects to develop public affairs, strategic engagement and management plans that add value to corporate objectives and wider community outcomes.