In order to ensure our Economic Development Strategy reflected the needs of local businesses and our community, we carried out a comprehensive consultation process in 2019. This included:
- A workshop with participants from Yarra’s Young Entrepreneurs in the North (YEN) program on 7 October 2019.
- A workshop with our Business Advisory Group (BAG) on 19 September 2019.
- One-on-one interviews with a diverse range of industry sectors and members of the business community.
- Meetings with teams within Yarra Council who's work will be affected by the plan.
- Meeting with our Disability Advisory Committee on 19 November 2019.
- An online survey promoted via our Your Say Yarra engagement portal, Yarra Life e-news, message to Advisory Committee representatives and Yarra’s Business e-news.
- Follow up telephone interviews with interested online survey respondents.
Feedback we received through workshops and meetings helped us understand what key roles Yarra Council could play in supporting businesses in Yarra, as well as the key challenges that are faced by industry in Yarra.
Our online survey on our Your Say Yarra website received 147 responses. Feedback from this survey provided a clear indication from respondents that:
- Yarra Council should increase its focus on the creative sector (34% support) and the retail sector (30% support) to help grow the local economy over the next 5 years.
- Streetscape improvements (52% support), promoting environmentally sustainable practices to businesses (42% support), promoting Yarra’s street life, galleries, public art and cultural activities (39% support) and attracting new businesses to Yarra (38% support) should be considered as priorities to support the local business community.
- To encourage more people to visit local shopping strips, Yarra Council should prioritise improving the look and feel of shopping strips (35% support), and make them easier to visit by foot or bike (22% support).