Shop Local: healthy business sector key to healthy community says City of Nedlands community development manager


Editor Denise Cahill with Marion Granich from the City of Nedlands.
Editor Denise Cahill with Marion Granich from the City of Nedlands.

Coffee catch up with…

Editor Denise Cahill sat down with City of Nedlands Community Development manager Marion Granich

How many small businesses are in the City of Nedlands?

We know of at least 500 businesses. There are 400 on our database but we also know there are many more because new businesses occur all the time and there are lots of home businesses that we don’t have on our database.

Why is it important for us as consumers to support local businesses?

Our local businesses are very important to us. A healthy business sector is a key part of any healthy community. They provide services to the local community and some of our best patronised local businesses are the small IGA’s that become like a small community centre or meeting place. A lot of local businesses are where young people have their first work experience and they help uni students work through their studies. Another aspect I see is local business people getting involved in Rotary and working in partnership on City projects like the All Abilities Play Space.

What are the challenges for local businesses in this tough economic climate?

I’m not a business person but I do hear from local business people who talk about the very stringent challenges because of the economic climate. Being in a highly competitive area and having access to resources are also challenges. Disruptive technology is also an issue. People build their business on a traditional retail model and build great relationships but are being undercut by cheaper services and products available online. But our business sector is very aware of these challenges and are dealing with them.

How does the City support small businesses?

One of the main functions is bringing people together. Our Business Sundowners are a favourite for them to simply network. I’ve heard people say “I’ve found the printer I want to use”. When they’ve met the person it makes all the difference. They have very comfortable and informative access to the mayor, councillors, CEO and senior staff in a relaxed atmosphere that’s away from the formality of a council meeting. They’re very personalised. Our local businesses are really important to our mayor, CEO and senior staff.

What is your favourite coffee shop?

I couldn’t give you a favourite because there’s too many. There’s at least six coffee shops that our staff go to regularly and many favourites. They are really proliferating. Nedlands hasn’t always been known for coffee shops but we are now. We have the beach, the river, we go right up to Floreat and down to Dalkeith and Hampden Road. Yabba Dabba is a regular of mine because we have a service next door. Little Way is fabulous… it has a great atmosphere, staff and coffee. There’s the traditional favourite Tiamo on Hampden Road, Kirkwood Deli in Swanbourne and Deli Chicchi in Mt Claremont.

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