The Traders Association Agenda
A traders association is a collective of business owners working collaboratively to represent, promote, and coordinate their local shopping precinct. They can be informal groups or incorporated associations, often working closely with their local council.
In the City of Boroondara, there are eight incorporated traders associations who receive funding from council according to special rate and charge schemes which are updated every five years. This funding is allocated and spent according to each association’s agreement with council.
Glenferrie is classified by the Boroondara Planning Scheme as one of Boroondara’s three major ‘activity centres’. The Glenferrie Hawthorn Special Rate and Charge Scheme (Glenferrie Scheme) was introduced in 1991. Funds raised from the Glenferrie Scheme are entirely passed onto the Glenferrie Traders Association (GTA), incorporated as the Glenferrie Road Shopping Centre Association (GRSCA), who run the glenferrie.com website and the ‘I Love Glenferrie’ Facebook page.
The current Glenferrie Scheme 2017-2022 is expected to raise a total of approximately $980,000 over the five years, to be used for “advertising, promotion, centre management, business development and other incidental expenses associated with the encouragement of commerce”. The scheme is paid by over 600 rateable properties in the Glenferrie precinct that have been determined to benefit from the scheme and is an itemised additional charge in their annual council rates. Other sources of the GTA’s income include revenue from the Glenferrie Festival and TAG magazine advertising, supporting the GTA’s forecasted $250,000 annual budget.
The GTA’s Strategic Business Plan 2017-2022 states the purpose of the association is to: act as a collective voice for traders and central coordinating body for revitalising Glenferrie; manage the marketing, promotion, and community development of Glenferrie; allocate the use of ratepayer funds for business centre improvement; foster strong relationships with new and returning customers as well as local and state governments; and communicate regularly with traders to assist, support, and advise them in improving their business and services.
The GTA’s stated objectives include promoting Glenferrie’s brand as the retail centre of Boroondara, improving parking and pedestrian access, encouraging public transport and bicycle use, reducing shop vacancies, and improving the quality, diversity, and visitation of all Glenferrie businesses.
Glenferrie businesses have needed support more than ever this year. Do you feel the GTA has fulfilled its function, purpose, obligations, and objectives? Share your thoughts and experiences by contacting The Glenferrie Times at firstname.lastname@example.org