Local businesses started their engines in readiness to capitalise on the 2018 Newcastle 500 at a City of Newcastle-hosted Business Information Forum this morning.
Nearly 60 business people attended the City Hall event held to ensure they benefit from the second edition of the race, which became Newcastle's biggest event ever last year when it drew over 190,000 people into the city, 20,000 of them visitors.
"The City and our partners want to provide local businesses with great opportunities to capitalise on the Newcastle 500," Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes told the gathering.
"This year we're working diligently to ensure businesses receive flow-on benefits from the massive number of locals and visitors coming into the CBD and Newcastle East.
"This is a fantastic major event and as our city continues to evolve into a visitor destination we want to make sure we bring everyone with us.
"The first year of the Newcastle 500 was a clear success but there's still room for improvement, and my priority is to assist all businesses in and around the event precinct gain benefits from that level of visitation."
The City's Newcastle 500 Project Manager, Ryan Tranter, said the aim is to have more Novocastrians in the thick of the excitement this year.
"Last year we advised commuters to avoid the city because of the disruption from light rail construction," Tranter said.
"But this year, with the light rail build completed, we want to stack the city. We're working on some fantastic ideas for getting the whole community involved right across race weekend and we'll be sharing more details soon."
The City's partners at the event included Supercars Australia, who outlined changes to the 2018 event and traffic/transport planning, Newcastle Now, who discussed how local businesses can get involved in the CBD activations, and The Business Centre Newcastle, which offered free business advice to the attendees.