9 May 2016
The Light Rail Business Link Program is asking local businesses to talk about concerns they have regarding light rail construction so we can help them find ways to turn potential negative impacts into new opportunities.
“Light rail is being introduced in Sydney. They are about 12 months ahead of the ACT and construction has been underway for a while, including over the busy Christmas shopping and tourism period,” Light Rail Business Link Program Manager, Ben Maguire explained.
“Obviously businesses along the construction route were concerned about the effect it might have on their sales. However, by working with the NSW Government, businesses tell us they were actually pleased with trade over that period.”
The NSW Government kept business informed about the project and worked with them on activation of the area. Businesses located in proximity to the light rail construction in Sydney were provided with pop-up spaces where they could market their products to potential customers over the Christmas sales period and help direct them to their shopfront.
“By partnering with Canberra Business Chamber to establish the Light Rail Business Link Program, the ACT Government has demonstrated it wants to similarly address potential impacts on Canberra businesses,” Mr Maguire said.
The Light Rail Business Link Program is designed to act as a conduit between local businesses, the ACT Government and the prime contractor to limit and assist in managing any adverse impacts on local businesses from construction.
Business Continuity Workshops are being planned for hospitality and accommodation providers situated along the light rail route to explore concerns and discuss possible ways to minimise anticipated issues.
Dates and locations for the workshops will be finalised shortly. To make sure you are kept informed, give Ben a call on 6247 4199 to register your interest.
The experience in another city that has introduced light rail – Tucson – highlights how vital it is for businesses to work with programs such as Light Rail Business Link.
Tucson established the Main Street Small Business Assistance Program to provide businesses with assistance to prepare for the impacts of construction.
“Businesses who engaged with the Main Street Program and prepared for impacts prior to construction were the best equipped during the actual construction phase,” City of Tucson Assistant City Manager, Albert Elias said.