City Centre

The vision of the Newcastle City Centre Business Improvement Association is to act as a facilitator of conversations, projects and initiatives that best serve the changing and diverse needs of an evolving local business community. In practical terms it aims to promote the development, beautification and advancement of local businesses within the area through a coordinated and structured promotion, advocacy and planning program. This Business Improvement Association is provided funding annually from the City of Newcastle to further these goals.

Constitution

View the Newcastle BIA Constitution (PDF)

Deliverables Plan

Meeting Minutes

City / Darby Street Business Improvement Association summary

The goals of the Newcastle City Centre Business Improvement Association are:

  1. To work with its members (precinct businesses) and other key players to identify and understand current and emerging project opportunities
  2. To collaborate and effectively communicate with the City of Newcastle and other stakeholders for the promotion, development, beautification and advancement of the commercial interests of businesses within the Hamilton Business Association Inc. precinct through a coordinated and structured promotion, advocacy and planning program

  3. For the purposes and objects stated in this constitution, to administer funds provided to the Association by the City of Newcastle for the purposes for which the Special Rate is levied and from time to time, ensure that any other income, funding or grants received by the Association, deliver services, programs and outcomes that add value to the precinct

  4. To do all things as are, or may be incidental or conducive to, the attainment of these objects.

Newcastle City BIA has identified a number of key areas that it believes provide priority and opportunity for its first year of operation.
There are three key strategic areas that the BIA recognises to be the umbrella strategy for 2020 to 2021 and include:

  • Support – promote and drive the economic development of business within the precinct (particularly in relation to Covid19 pandemic crisis) by:
    • working in collaboration with other BIAs, City of Newcastle, local businesses and other organisations to identity projects that can assist in the promotion and the economic development of its members and the wider city. It is the desire of the BIA to support projects that deal with:
      • the immediate period
      • recovery initiatives.
  • Identity and economic growth – create and inform conversations about the City and its business landscape identity and narrative as a promotional and economic platform - that encourages things such as:
    • Better understanding of the precinct’s diverse business landscape and its relationship with the evolving inner city living/working economy
    • Attracting strategic skills and knowledge
    • Business investment and establishment – large to small
    • Sustainable approaches for members and the wider city
    • Recognise and celebrate all individuals who make up the business landscape – the workers, volunteers, community and business owners
    • Work collaboratively to enhance and promote visitor experience and numbers
  • Day to day activities in precinct – work collaboratively on matters such as promotion, safety, accessibility, community engagement, policy and program development by:
    • Adopting and adhering to sound governance matters that also include setting achievable and measurable outcomes
    • Advocate on behalf of members
    • Working collaboratively with City of Newcastle to inform and advance mutually beneficial activities within the precinct that might include:
      • Access – working with key stakeholders and to be part of a collaborative solution for the city that includes public transport, motor vehicle, push bike, scooter, pedestrian and other infrastructure access for all people so that they can live, work and play in the precinct.
      • Business data platforms - that can provide useful information particularly for small business

Cooperative promotional initiatives – for the immediate and the future.

The Association has the widest possible powers to do all things which may be necessary to pursue the Association's goals and objects including the following powers:

  1. To use funds of the Association to pay the costs and expenses of the Association in accordance with any funding agreement entered into by the Association.
  2. Subject to any funding agreement, to engage in prosecuting, defending or otherwise taking any legal action or legal proceedings on behalf of the Association and for that purpose, to expend such moneys and employ such solicitors, counsel and other advisors as the Association may think fit
  3. To apply for and acquire any licences or permits deemed necessary by the Association
  4. To open and operate bank accounts subject to such conditions as the Association any funding agreement entered into by the Association.
  5. To engage with its stakeholders and community
  6. To raise money by other means and upon such conditions as the Association thinks fit and in accordance with any funding agreement entered into by the Association
  7. To engage contractors or consultants for such purposes and for such periods that are subject to any funding agreement entered into by the Association. subject to such conditions as the Association thinks fit provided that the Association shall not give money or lend money to;
    • A member or director of any company by which any business of the Association is carried on, or
    • A person or entity who is a settlor or trustee of a trust that is a shareholder of any company by which any business of the Association is to be carried on.

The Business Improvement Association is expected to only use the Service Fee for the purpose of beautifying, promoting and developing the area as specifically agreed to in the Deliverables Plan approved by the City of Newcastle. Special Rate Funds must not be used for administration costs, employee costs or used for any other costs related to the operation of the Service Provider unless approved in writing by the City of Newcastle.

A Deliverables Plan is a plan approved by the City of Newcastle’s nominated representative in writing containing the details of what the Service Provider intends to do to deliver the Service, including how and when the Service Fee will be spent, an operational plan and a marketing and communication plan for delivering the Service. The Deliverables Plan contains measurable targets for service delivery, which the Association is expected to report on to the City of Newcastle.

A person is taken to be an eligible member of the Association if:

  1. They are the owner or delegate of one or more commercially rated properties within BIA precinct and pay the levy as applied by City of Newcastle, or;
  2. They lawfully occupy, or are the tenant (or delegate) of one or more commercially rated premises within the BIA precinct, and operate a business from those premises, or;
  3. They are appointed as a member of the Association by the board/sub-committee, on the basis the Association considers the person holds a specific interest or skill. Such individuals may or may not currently work within the BIA precinct but have the ability to significantly contribute to the objectives of the Association.

The Members of the Newcastle City Centre Association are:

Name Association Position Organisation
Anthony Strachan Chair 3 Monkeys Cafe
Joe Relic Vice Chair Coco Skin Laser Health
Damien O'Brien Public Officer & Secretary O'Brien Winter Partners Law
Mike Chapman Treasurer Colliers International
Karl Mallon Ordinary Member Climate Risk
Leigh Shears Ordinary Member Hunter Workers
Marty Adnum Ordinary Member Out of the Square Media
Cornelia Schulze Ordinary Member Hunter and Coastal Lifestyle Magazine

City / Darby Street Business Connect

Business Connect is a City of Newcastle project aimed at improving communication, strategic information flows and connections with the city’s business community. This is to be achieved through the distribution of regular  e-newsletters, the promotion of Business Improvement Association activities, and the publication of relevant data and related developments. For extended articles and data analysis from the current e-newsletter, please see below.

2020 in Review

The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented challenge for Australia and the city of Newcastle. In the June 2020 quarter, the nation’s GDP fell by seven per cent, the largest quarterly decrease on record. Unemployment peaked across the city at 11%, with young people, women and marginalised groups even more severely impacted. Between April and September 2020 an average of over 6,500 businesses per month applied for JobKeeper payments in Newcastle.

This downturn was reflected locally in the Newcastle’s city centre and Darby Street business precinct. As shown in the graph here, spending in local grocery stores and supermarkets remained buoyant throughout 2020, however the tourism, dining and entertainment sector was particularly hard-hit: spending in local restaurants and cafes during April 2020 was less than 25% of expenditure levels in December 2019.   

There are indications the local economy has rebounded well: December 2020 retail spending in the city centre and Darby Street precinct surpassed prior year levels, and reliance on the JobKeeper wage subsidy has dropped by over two thirds. Specialised food retailing businesses in the local area appear to be experiencing a small boom period, possibly reflecting a pandemic-inspired shift in consumer preferences. However, there is still much volatility and uncertainty, particularly in the tourism and hospitality sectors. In coordination with the Newcastle City Business Association, the City of Newcastle has been targeting assistance at these industries. This includes the provision of free business recovery training and support (click link to browse available courses), and other targeted promotion for food services, dining and entertainment businesses. We welcome new ideas on how to support local businesses in this crucial recovery year, and encourage you to get involved in your local business community through the Newcastle City Business Association.

City - Darby Street Business Connect 2020 in review

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