The Victorian Coalition Government will provide over 270 funding grants to retail precincts across the state over the next four years, to assist businesses in local shopping precincts to better attract and retain customers.
Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business Louise Asher today announced further details and the formal opening of applications for the Coalition Government's new $6 million retail skills and productivity improvement program 'Streetlife'.
"Victoria's retail sector is the state's second largest employer and a key economic driver. It is vital that this sector continues to be competitive and innovative.
"The Coalition Government will work with local councils, industry associations and small businesses to ensure that businesses in local shopping strips have the management, marketing and collaborative skills to deal with the structural changes underway in modern retailing.
"Under the Streetlife program, contestable grants of up to $20,000 will be available to Councils, and up to $5,000 for local Business and Traders' Associations.
"I am particularly keen to see applications from Councils and Traders' Associations in regional Victoria.
"Each grant application will need to identify the local issues and suggested solutions. Post program evaluations will also have to show how the funded solutions resulted in actual economic benefits to local businesses.
"The Australian Retailers Association and Mainstreet Australia have both agreed to partner with the Coalition Government to deliver the program.
"Both organisations will provide their expertise in retail and vibrant shopping strip development to ensure that the program meets the needs of the local businesses.
"I am very confident that through this support Melbourne and Victoria's reputation for quality retail and innovative shopping places will continue to grow," Ms Asher said.
For more information about the Streetlife program, a copy of the Guidelines and application information visit www.business.vic.gov.au/streetlife