CBD companies bouncing again from Covid disruptions

New data from the City of Launceston shows the number of ground floor stores open in the Launceston CBD has been improving rapidly after the disruption caused by COVID19 last year.

At the height of last year’s lockdown, data from the council showed the number of vacant ground floor stores in the Launceston CBD rose to 154 out of a total of roughly 600 ground floor stores.

Following the lockdown, recent data shows the Launceston CBD has rallied to 57 vacant shops on the first floor.

This equates to 93% of the ground floor commercial space currently in use and open to trade in the Launceston CBD.

Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said it was gratifying to see how quickly the majority of CBD companies resumed trading after last year’s lockdown, but also warned that businesses that rely on tourism are still feeling the effects.

“At the start of the pandemic, the city of Launceston quickly got a community care and recovery package worth 10 million,” said van Zetten.

“Together with state and federal government action, the City of Launceston’s proactive initiative in this area has helped empower small businesses, save jobs and enable businesses to transition to new forms of trade.

“It is gratifying to see that the majority of CBD companies have recovered from the lockdown in a relatively short period of time and that the percentage of our first floor CBD stores that are open for business is back to pre-COVID levels.

“This positive result is undoubtedly heavily influenced by the fact that northern Tasmanians made the decision to shop locally and support local businesses, and this is a great collective effort.

“Combined with data showing that Launceston is experiencing a planning boom, there is reason to be optimistic about the city’s economic future.”

Cityprom executive officer Amanda McEvoy said a variety of new businesses had opened in the Launceston CBD in the past 12 months.

“We have welcomed a number of exciting new businesses from national chains like Platypus Shoes and Oscar Wylee to new local and Tasmanian companies like Tamar Valley Candles, Quintoxic Books, Glazed and Confused Pottery and Dragonfly Tea Attelier,” said McEvoy.

“The public interest and excitement on our social media for these new businesses in town has been fantastic.

“We encourage anyone who has been away from town to spend some time exploring the great retail, service and hospitality options we have throughout the city center.

“It is so important that we continue to shop locally and support our community so we can see this wide range of boutiques and well-known retailers continue to grow and contribute to Launceston’s economic growth and job creation.”

Mayor van Zetten said the Launceston City Deal had greatly increased investor confidence in the city.

Fiscal year 2020-21 figures show the City of Launceston approved 771 building applications valued at $ 383,657,211 across the community, breaking the previous year’s record of 673 building applications valued at $ 215,005,934 Has.

“Since January 2020, there have been 100 development applications with an estimated value of 53 million US dollars within one kilometer of the CBD,” said Mayor van Zetten.

“Two of the most important commitments in the Launceston City Deal – relocation of the University of Tasmania Inveresk and a renewed focus on developing CBD infills – are also having a positive impact.”

“It is fantastic news for Launceston that a number of indicators are showing positive trends to make Launceston one of Australia’s most livable regional cities.”

“With a focus on downtown life, we’re seeing more cafes, restaurants and services in the city center. There is really a trend towards the city center, which offers people a really exciting experience. “

“Despite these good signs, we understand that the tourism industry is still feeling the effects of the border closings and we encourage all of our residents to continue to support our local businesses by dining in our local restaurants, shopping in our retail areas and over the weekend experience one of our fabulous attractions or even consider staying in northern Tasmania. ”

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