A key initiative – likely to be in place within three months – was the creation of case managers, who would be the main point of contact for small business owners and guide them through the process of dealing with different council departments. (via ODT)
Ha Ha Ha
Case managers? Where have we heard this before?
Oh right, DCC. Long before Simon Pickford arrived on the scene.
Why have ‘case managers’, mooted long ago, not been in evidence and used more widely throughout the dreadfully over-paid-over-staffed halls of local government?
DISREPUTABLE COUNCIL SILOS; DEFERENCE TO SOME PROPERTY DEVELOPERS, UNIVERSITY, PROFESSIONAL RUGBY, CYCLING LOBBY ET AL; BUSINESS BLINDNESS IN THE EXTREME AT DCC
### ODT Online Tue, 14 Apr 2015
Cutting through council bureaucracy
By Vaughan Elder
A Dunedin woman says her experience with the Dunedin City Council’s building department had her on the verge of giving up her dream of setting up a men’s hairdressing business. […] Now, the city council is using her experience to improve the way it deals with small businesses. Ms O’Connor first found out the council was interested in learning from her experience during an undercover visit to her salon, Bloke, from council services and development general manager Simon Pickford.
Link received from Hype O’Thermia
Wed, 8 Apr 2015 at 1:04 a.m.
CBD, RETAIL & PARKING
### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00, April 5 2015
Tech weapons to save the high street
By Catherine Harris
Ask Chris Wilkinson what makes a good retailer and he’ll say there’s no mystery to it. A retailer is like a maitre’d. “They don’t necessarily need to know how to cook the meal but they do need to know how to look after people, make sure the whole operation runs properly, understand finances, understand buying. It is very much a people-oriented thing.” Those are the basics, but in an industry full of store “resizing,” online competition and new technology, the average retailer could easily be forgiven for being confused.
Enter Wilkinson’s consultancy firm, First Retail Group, which aims to “build performance, develop opportunity and manage risk”. […] First Retail Group spans a wide range of sectors and a number of countries including Australia and Scotland. In particular, it helps towns figure out how to breathe fresh life into their retail hearts.
Parking regularly crops up as an issue, as does getting the right mix of stores “so they don’t lose their mojo”. “Townships need to rebuild goodwill with their consumers . . and a lot of it starts with parking,” says Wilkinson.
“The biggest challenge is that towns are typically earning some pretty good money off their parking and it costs them a lot to maintain that infrastructure. So it’s not easy for them to walk away from it. We always challenge stakeholders and some of the community leaders to find ways of replacing that revenue.”
There’s also a growing concern about the “sameness” of main streets and malls, as big-box retailers pop up seemingly in every town. The future is “differentiation,” says Wilkinson. New types of retailers, flexible store fit-outs and layouts, atmospheric lighting. “It really is all about theatre.”
He also advises towns to think of themselves like malls. In Queenstown, for instance, jetlagged Australians are getting off the plane and finding the stores closed at 6pm.
“That’s no longer suitable so we need to start getting some changing behaviours from the retailers. We need to get the restaurants and the retailers working much closer together, and we need them to work very hard on developing an artisan sector, because walking down the street of a place like Queenstown, you will find it no different than walking down a street in Melbourne or Sydney or Auckland.”
However, he doubts a retro move back to boutique shops is on the cards, given the cost of business. “What we’d probably see happening with artisan retailers is more developments like [Auckland’s] Ponsonby Central, where you have a collective of flexible sites with strong emphasis on food and beverage and almost mini-community that they’ve built.”
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