The Hunter Business Chamber and Newcastle Now will jointly host a forum with the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner focusing on the issues for businesses whose trade is affected by ongoing revitalisation works in Newcastle CBD.
Chamber CEO, Bob Hawes said the session on 24 January 2018 will include the opportunity for businesses to meet and discuss one-on-one with the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner.
“It is our understanding the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner offers advocacy and dispute resolution services, and the forum will give businesses a clearer idea of how this operates, potentially to their benefit,” Bob said.
“Our role is to ensure business concerns over impacts being felt in the city as consequence of the light rail works are expressed and, where possible, addressed.
“Business downturn in the CBD is really the unintended impact of a raft of works, and the light rail project is scheduled to continue into 2019. As a business owner or operator, this is a long time to have your trade impacted.
“We accept that there will be some disruption during works but businesses should have their concerns heard.
“As a broader community, it is important for us to support these businesses.
“This is a vital time of year for trading and we encourage everybody to visit the CBD and spend locally.
“It really will make a significant difference to those businesses.”
Bob is encouraging business owners to keep a record of the impact of the construction on their business.
“In our discussions with the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner and following contact with businesses impacted by the light rail construction in Sydney, it is important for business to collect and record information regarding issues and events that impact on trade performance on an ongoing basis.
“We’re urging businesses in the CBD to make a record of what is happening in their business and also around it.”
Newcastle Now Executive Manager, Michael Neilson said the organisation is in the process of surveying the views of businesses.
“We want to make sure all the stakeholders are doing the best they can to support business and getting the message out that the city is well and truly open for business, whilst the works program of the light rail and revitalisation proceeds,” Michael said.
“We’re confident the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner can help us navigate the concerns through government and help resolve commercial disputes where they have arisen.
“We don’t want to leave remedial action until it’s too late. We know some businesses are hurting, and they need guidance and assistance now.”
Bob is encouraging businesses to engage with the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner.
“We encourage as many businesses as possible to attend the information session and make the connection with the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner to book in for a one-on-one, should they feel the need,” Bob said.
Further information about the forum on 24 January will be provided to all businesses in Newcastle CBD, and will include details about the session start time, venue and other important details.
IMAGE | Newcastle businesses will have the chance to share their feedback on the impact of light rail construction work in town.