One of the initiatives being put to City of Melbourne on Tuesday 29th August concerns business continuity for traders during renewal and how traders might be assisted as they tackle a period of construction and change. Some traders are asking if the proposal being put to Council needs clarification before it becomes useful.
The proposal refers to a Trader Support Fund and a complementary Trader Assistance Program. That combination will include financial compensation and other assistance including what has been referred to as advice from various sources including “Business Partners”.
The Trader Support Fund Advisory Committee is the governing body through which individual trader requests for financial assistance from the Fund would be made and assessed. At Thursdays Trader Meeting, Joanne Wandel was keen to point out that this involves public money and there would be strict accountability. The Council has further stated that there is no legal obligation for them to provide compensation.
A minimum of $8 million has been allocated to the Fund. According to the proposal put to Council “The purpose of the Fund is to provide financial assistance to Traders where the effects of the QVMPR Program works cannot be adequately mitigated and have resulted in a demonstrable negative impact on the Trader's profit during the period of the works.”
There are many questions surrounding the application of the fund. The fund is capped so does that mean that some deserving traders might miss out? Are we trying to protect the smaller fragile traders or those with larger business operations at QVM? How will compensation be calculated? Will it be applied to rent? For some traders rent has a significant impact on profit, for others it is less significant.
Any assistance package is a very welcome ingredient for traders, but maybe we need to know more about how this might work and how the unique fragility of small market businesses will be addressed.
27/08/2017 19:30:04 Trader Support Fund "Undoubtedly most traders welcome, appreciate and endorse any assistance on offer but given the short period available to review and comment on the initiatives they would welcome an opportunity to discuss many of the questions raised by the information currently available to them thus ensuring the best possible use of the funds generously made available by the Melbourne council." Ivano
Thanks Ivano. You know more about this subject than most traders. More information would be good. - Ed