BUSINESSES in the Town of Victoria Park can now use the pavement to display wares or create alfresco areas under a new free trade area agreement.
Fees to use the sidewalk have been scrapped in favour of a one-off payment to demarcate a 2m-wide free trade area outside the shop.
The new cost is $47 per pavement disc, with a minimum of two required per application.
Marshall Martin, owner of The Good Store on Albany Highway, said he was considering using a free trade area to demonstrate kitchen appliances like coffee machines and spiralisers outside his shop.
“I think the idea is a wonderful one,” he said.
He felt it would further encourage activity and fun in Victoria Park.
Deputy Mayor Brian Oliver said Victoria Park was cutting red tape and showing its commitment to supporting local businesses.
“The cost to have an alfresco dining area outside your cafe or restaurant has significantly reduced and for the first time, non-eateries will be able to use the space,” he said.
“This is also a fantastic way to really activate the streets and add to the variation in retail experience in the Town, continuing its vision of a vibrant lifestyle.”
Alasdair Craigie, from RoyAl’s Chicken and Burgers, said they would consider putting out tables to create an alfresco area.
However, Tuesday was the first he had heard of the new initiative when a council representative came to talk to him about the free trade area decision made at the last council meeting.
“It’s one thing I really like about Victoria Park; they are quite progressive like that,” he said of the Town’s business support.
He said the Town of Vincent had similarly reduced alfresco costs.
The Town of Victoria Park is also looking to streamline the process for obtaining a free trade permit, with an online self-assessment tool planned to roll out in early 2017 for businesses to use when applying.