The Greens recognise that our main streets are a meeting place for our local communities. They host a variety of businesses, as well as core services such as banks, post offices, newsagents, greengrocers, pharmacies, bakers, and small supermarkets, all of which are vital to ensuring that our main streets are community hubs. This has been important throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, during which essential businesses have remained open, and their workers have adapted to health orders as they changed.
The Greens value the inner west’s industrial spaces, which support so many small businesses. The bakeries, coffee roasters and fish dealers supply the whole of Sydney and beyond. These spaces enable innovation and provide employment close to home -– there are over 65,000 ABNs registered in the Inner West Council area (up from 2019) in every industrial sector, ranging from businesses in the arts to engineering.
The Greens recognise that, with the COVID-19 cloud still hanging over us, we need to assist these businesses to reopen and operate in a safe way. The Arts sector, in particular, has been severely hit and the Greens are committed to ensure their recovery.
The Greens on the Inner West Council will:
- employ a ventilation specialist to advise small businesses on ways to improve ventilation and minimise the spread of viruses.
- look for opportunities outside or near restaurants and cafes for people to enjoy outdoor dining, while ensuring footpaths remain accessible.
- promote main streets as hubs for cultural activities, such as walking tours, concerts and busking.
- provide free parking on main streets and near small businesses to allow for short visits before any paid parking kicks in.
- advocate to the NSW government to create better cleaner public transport connections across the inner west, including into the evening.
- Increase foot traffic by improving bicycle infrastructure along main streets, including bicycle parking, and provide seating for pedestrians.
- create opportunities and seek ideas for placemaking initiatives such as mini festivals, events and destinations on each of our main streets.
- investigate ways that the Council can improve its business support services, and streamline administrative processes to make it easier to do business in the inner west.
- continue to support ‘hardship’ options where appropriate for businesses that are unable to make rate or rent payments due to financial difficulty arising from the COVID pandemic.
- provide quiet spaces for hire on an ad hoc basis in libraries and other council buildings and access to technology and tools to support small business and people working from home.
- ensure that industrial spaces such as Lords Road and Carrington Road are protected and that planning instruments allow a mix of uses where appropriate.
- work with businesses to manage waste, including expanding the council’s commercial waste services, such as food scraps collection, and creating more drop off points.
- improve sustainability by promoting cloth bag initiatives and promote ways to transition away from single use plastics.