THE simple act of adding an “Upper Hunter Country” sticker to an A-frame chalkboard or the tables and chairs out on the footpath will save a business its 2017/18 annual footpath trading licence fees in the Upper Hunter Shire.
At Paddock to Pantry in Scone, Upper Hunter Country stickers adorn both colourful chalkboards on the footpath and owner Steve Guihot is pleased he will be reimbursed his footpath trading fee.
Council is also offering financial assistance to business owners to help revitalise streetscapes in towns across the shire by way of a grant of up to $1000 to refurbish shopfronts.
The Upper Hunter CBD Shop Front Assistance Fund is to provide one-off assistance to businesses in Aberdeen, Merriwa, Murrurundi and Scone central business districts (CBDs).
The grant aims to improve the street presence of individual business premises and, in turn, contribute to the overall appeal of the streetscape of the towns.
Council will contribute a one-off allocation of up to $1000 ex GST (or 50 per cent of project costs - whichever is the least) per standard 15-metre shop front.
Council recently decided to increase the grant from $500.
The move is part of council’s strategy to encourage shop owners to promote tourism as well as improving the look of Upper Hunter town’s CBDs.
Mayor Wayne Bedggood said the “Upper Hunter Country – Come On Up!” branding could be used on outdoor umbrellas, tables, chairs, pots or A-frames.
“Council is also working to improve our CBDs in partnership with the Town Revitalisation Committees for Aberdeen, Merriwa, Murrurundi and Scone that are advancing the Town Masterplans,” he said.
“Any investment in the visual appeal of shops improves the overall appearance of main streets and encourages visitors to stop and shop.
“The Scone Bypass is only a few years away and it will impact on Scone but also potentially on other towns.
“This is an opportunity and we are planning to capitalise on it.
“Across the shire we all need to consider how to accommodate new types of travellers, such as those in recreational vehicles, new retail experiences and making our towns more shopper-friendly.”
The Upper Hunter CBD Shop Front Assistance Fund Application Form and Guidelines are available on council’s website www.upperhunter.nsw.gov.au under Do It Online / Apply for It / Community Grants.
Copies are also available from council offices.
To find out more contact council’s manager business enterprise and tourism Sean Constable on 6540 1135 or visit http://upperhunter.nsw.gov.au/f.ashx/a-zdocuments/Scone-CBD-Shop-Front-Assistance-Program-Guidelines-and-Application-Form-May-2017-Fields_distributed.pdf