Sydney cafes, bars, restaurants and business operators are set for a summer revival with the NSW Government’s Summer Summit paving the way for business to capitalise on Sydney’s transformation into a COVID safe alfresco city.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes, Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello and Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope hosted dozens of key business leaders and operators at the Museum of Contemporary Art, where a raft of ideas were discussed to re-ignite Sydney’s economy as the countdown to summer begins.
“We have heard loud and clear from those on the front lines about what is needed to restore public confidence and get the city buzzing again to ensure businesses have a bumper summer while keeping the people safe,” Mr Perrottet said.
“Our health response has been strong and that will allow us to have a strong economic response to ensure Sydney is ready for summer, which is just 73 days away.”
Mr Perrottet said the Government was already working with City of Sydney Council to ensure retailers, cafes, bars and restaurants had the best opportunities possible across the Christmas and summer trading period.
“We are exploring a range of options and ideas and are willing to invest in the right projects that support businesses and jobs.” At the Summit the NSW Government and City of Sydney Council agreed to explore a range of possible measures, including:
· Allowing more flexible outdoor dining and seating arrangements;
· Establish outdoor entertainment stages throughout the CBD, in areas such as Martin Place;
· Enhance promotion of cultural institutions and allow them to stay open later;
· Increase promotion and advertising to attract people into the Sydney CBD;
· Explore COVID safe creative ideas such as hosting outdoor cultural events;
· Recruiting renowned local artists to perform in dining areas and entertainment precincts throughout the CBD;
· Longer retail trading hours;
· More flexible public transport options;
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said we must work together to get life back into our city centre while ensuring the safety of residents, workers and visitors. “We need to allow and encourage businesses to operate outdoors, and we need to support our creative and cultural life to activate and draw people back to our city, safely,” the Lord Mayor said.
“We want to ensure our city businesses survive, and create new opportunities to thrive in the long term.”
Mr Stokes said people would be keen to get out and enjoy the harbour city with the return of warmer weather and daylight savings.
“As we strip off our winter layers, let’s look at how we can also strip away red tape and get this city sizzling,” Mr Stokes said.
“We’re going to look at how we can make it easier for local governments and businesses to use outdoor spaces.”
Mr Dominello said it was time to redouble our efforts and take advantage of Sydney’s summer climate.
“We want people to get out and enjoy everything our great city has to offer and to do that we need to make better use of the natural elements Sydney is blessed with,” Mr Dominello said.
“This week we established a special taskforce, declared red tape enemy number one, and are determined to get the Alfresco job done.”
Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said the NSW Government was keen to hear first-hand from those on the ground who could share ideas on how the city could be re-ignited.
“We want to do all we can to ensure Sydney’s small businesses prosper and thrive and this summit has uncovered a variety of suggestions and options on how that can best happen so our city can flourish once again,” Mr Tudehope said.
The relevant ideas, issues and options raised at the Summit today will help shape policy, inform the upcoming NSW State Budget and be channelled through to work already underway such as the outdoor dining taskforce headed by Minister Victor Dominello.