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Chamber welcomes Council’s focus on businesses affected by light rail construction;awaits more detail

Release Date: 2/05/2018
The Hunter Business Chamber has welcomed the positive attention Newcastle City Council is giving businesses impacted by light rail construction in the CBD.
Chief Executive Officer Bob Hawes said the Chamber supports Council’s initiative to offer rate relief for property owners affected by light rail construction, but recognises that full details of the plan have not yet been made public.
“We’re keen to see detail of the relief program offered by Council, and if it is practical, are looking forward to working with them to help ensure that benefits flow through to businesses affected by light rail construction, whether they be property owners, or tenants.
“The key task currently remains attracting customers to the city – we need to keep the city alive during this important period of revitalisation.
“To this effect, the working group set up under the auspice of Newcastle Now and the Hunter Business Chamber is very active. The group has been working closely with a range of stakeholders to resolve parking, traffic and other transport issues as they arise.
“The working group has already started to provide opportunities for one-on-one consultation with businesses, through the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner and Newcastle Business Centre.
“Further, the working group is developing a business case to put to the State Government to support the proposition of a ‘hardship fund’, that would be accessible to affected businesses.
“The efforts of the working group and other initiatives currently available reflect input and coordination between a range of groups, including Newcastle Now, Newcastle City Council, Revitalising Newcastle, the Hunter Business Chamber and the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner.
“Everyone must work together in a cooperative fashion to achieve one overarching goal – to attract business to the city and help businesses in the CBD get through the light rail construction period,” Bob said.

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