Singleton Council has announced the launch of the Shopfront Upgrade Rebate Program, an initiative providing financial assistance to tenants and/or owners of shops and commercial premises in selected streets to upgrade their building facade, awning and signage.
Up to $550 (including GST) per project will be available on a dollar for dollar basis toward the costs of improvements to existing shop fronts, including:
- Painting of the fa√ßade
- Cleaning the existing fa√ßade
- Removal of cladding
- The minor repair, maintenance or reinstatement of missing elements
- Minor repairs to existing fa√ßade tile or stone accents
- Minor repairs to structural fa√ßade elements and awnings;
- New signage in keeping with the scale and character of the building and conforming to Council regulations
Singleton Council General Manager Lindy Hyam says the Council is committed to improving the look and feel of our town centre.
“Sometimes having a small amount of assistance can go a long way,” she said.
“We want to increase economic prosperity, improve competitiveness and deliver on the message that Singleton is a vibrant place where quality goods and services can be purchased.”
“The Shopfront Upgrade Rebate Program is a great opportunity for businesses to freshen up their shopfront to go with our new-look main street.
“This program is just one way that Singleton Council is working with commercial property owners and business operators to bring more life and vitality to the town’s main street, benefiting local businesses, the economy and the community as a whole.”
It is considered that the shopfront improvements will improve the appearance of businesses in line with the work undertaken as part of the Singleton Town Centre Revitalisation, improve the visual, look and feel of the town centre, enable residents and visitors to take a fresh look at the retail and service offerings, and support business owners to improve the public impression of their business.
Singleton Council have found that there are a number of studies that show how thoughtful design improvements and upgrades to exteriors change the perception on businesses, attract people and increase sales. For example, research* from the US found:
- 70% of first time sales at cafes restaurants, retail shops and attractions can come from street appeal
- 70% of business reported an increase in sales after making fa√ßade improvements
- 85% of businesses also made interior improvements including new inventory and product lines, merchandising and window display
- The majority of businesses sustained an increase in sales ‚Äì an average increase of 222% in the average annual percentage increase in gross sales ‚Äì after improvements
- 100% of businesses experienced favourable customer response and considered the improvements worth the investment.
*Source: University of Wisconsin-Extension (USA), West Virginia Department of Commerce (USA) and researcher Brenda Spencer.
Image | A bird’s eye view of the Singleton town centre revitalisation concept