Rockingham businesses appeal for support

Daniel Wakelin (Head Studio Rockingham), Sunny Nguyen (Venus Nail and Spa), Kylie Gillis (Sunsets), Carol Frieling (Urban Retreat Day Spa), Clint Wilcox (Steel Tree), Olga Kolyasnikova (Three Wishes), Marc Kenly (Lattitude 32 and Vat 116) and Bill Spence (Surf Mainia). Photo by Gabrielle Jeffery
Daniel Wakelin (Head Studio Rockingham), Sunny Nguyen (Venus Nail and Spa), Kylie Gillis (Sunsets), Carol Frieling (Urban Retreat Day Spa), Clint Wilcox (Steel Tree), Olga Kolyasnikova (Three Wishes), Marc Kenly (Lattitude 32 and Vat 116) and Bill Spence (Surf Mainia). Photo by Gabrielle Jeffery

ROCKINGHAM business owners are reporting a big drop in trade since work started on the Rockingham Beach Foreshore Revitalisation this month.

Some foreshore restaurants are reporting a 50 to 70 per cent reduction in trade.

Sunsets manager Kylie Gillis said the construction work had had a “huge affect” on business and she was worried.

She said trade had reduced by about half in the past two weeks.

“In the past week we’ve lost money,” Ms Gillis said.

“It’s hard on staff.”

Steel Tree supervisor Amanda Williamson said construction work had taken away a bit of trade.

“It’s not the best – it’s been pretty quiet,” she said.

“But we can’t do anything about it.”

Urban Retreat Day Spa owner Carol Frieling reported a 30 per cent drop in trade.

“I have noticed and it’s scares me,” she said.

“We’ve been here for 11 years and it’s the worst I’ve ever felt it.

“We’ve reduced staff hours.”

Foreshore business owners are appealing to the public to make an effort to support them.

“We need people to keep coming,” Mrs Frieling said.

The #supporttheforeshorebusinessesduringtherenos is the hashtag used to drum up social media support for the campaign.

City of Rockingham Mayor Barry Sammels said the foreshore project would deliver a magnificent foreshore area that both businesses and visitors could benefit from well into the future.

“During the masterplan development, design process and before construction began, the City engaged with business owners to help them understand the project and the potential impacts it may have,” he said.

“These discussions with business operators were very successful and resulted in many positive outcomes that the City is working on to assist businesses.

“In the meantime the City would like to remind residents and visitors that the foreshore area is still open and ready for business.”

Cr Sammels said steps taken by the City to minimise the inconvenience included waiving al fresco fees for directly impacted outdoor eating establishments during the 2018-2019 financial year and maintaining pedestrian access throughout the project.

“Construction on the foreshore revitalisation will cease from December 7 until 18 February 18,” he said.

“This was one of the proactive decisions made by the City early on in the process.

“This pause in construction will allow the businesses on the foreshore to take full advantage of the busy summer period.

“The City’s regular New Year’s Eve and Australia Day celebrations will also be taking place at the foreshore over the summer, providing a further economic boost to the area.”

The City is also going to run an extensive ad campaign in local newspapers encouraging visitors to continue visiting the foreshore area and supporting local businesses.

“The City will also be using social media to continue to inform the public that businesses are open as usual,” Cr Sammels said.

“The onsite VMS boards have information informing motorists that the Café Strip is Open.

“Onsite wayfinding signage will soon be in place directing pedestrians to all the businesses around the works area.

“The City will also be using social media to continue to inform the public that businesses are open as usual.”