PERTH hospitality industry heavyweights are backing a new campaign to entice West Aussies to return to the city and support small businesses doing it tough during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Sneakers & Jeans’ Andy Freeman, The Royal Hotel’s John Parker and Mary Street Bakery’s Paul Aron are among almost 40 small business owners who have joined forces to encourage people to visit the Perth CBD for shopping and dining.
The Visit Perth campaign comes as WA moved to Phase Four restrictions last weekend, which included relaxing the capacity of venues and abolishing the requirement for patrons to be seated at bars, pubs and restaurants.
Mr Freeman, who is behind popular venues including The Flour Factory, Varnish on King, Hadiqa, Goody Two’s and Caballitos, said owners were thrilled to return to “kinda normal” operations.
“Now is the perfect time for Perth locals to come back into the city to experience, explore and enjoy the atmosphere and unique offerings from our city-based small businesses,” he said.
“From world-class chocolates to talented florists, locally-designed clothing stores to award-winning tour companies, and of course our incredible selection of bars, restaurants and cafes, the city has it all.”
Mr Parker, who also owns The Standard, said there was an almost 80 per cent drop in foot traffic in the Perth CBD on Friday nights and 93 per cent decline in Northbridge nightlife activity during the peak of restrictions.
“We’re starting to see some recovery, however, we are calling on the community for their support as we try to recreate the vibrant, welcoming and diverse city atmosphere we all know and love,” he said.
“We are a unique, global city in the amount of local businesses we have, which are the lifeblood of the Perth community.
“Now is the time of us to work together, explore our own backyard and support local by visiting the city once more.”
Sue Lewis Chocolatier’s Sue Lewis, Pigeonhole’s Johann Kim, Fox & Rabbit’s Rebecca Const, Street X’s Daniel Bradshaw and Two Feet & a Heartbeat’s Ryan Zaknich are also participating in the campaign.
It will include business profiles on social media and videos screened in Yagan Square, Forrest Chase, Northbridge Piazza and Perth Cultural Centre.
About 150,000 people are employed in the Perth CBD and WA small businesses contribute just over $50 billion to the WA economy.
The City of Perth is offering $10 all-day parking and free short-stay options.