In early 2017, the City of Sydney put forward a recommendation that would see the funding pool for each of the 12 business chambers in the Local Government Area of Sydney be reduced from $80,000 a year to $30,000.
Had this been approved, many of these chambers would have closed their doors. Through our management of the Newtown Precinct Business Association, Capstone Collective were able to advocate on behalf of the stakeholders involved and achieve an outcome for all. Here is a summation of the activities that have led to each chamber now having access to a pool of $180,000 per year of grant funding through the City of Sydney.
To assist in consolidating the communication between chambers and with the City, Capstone recommended the formation of the ‘Sydney Chamber Alliance’. This alliance is a support mechanism for chambers within the Sydney LGA and has the initial remit of
- Advocating on behalf of the 9 member chambers (Sydney CBD, Darlinghurst, Potts Point, Walsh Bay, South Sydney, Newtown, Surry Hills, Glebe and Paddington) to re-write a new grant process with the City of Sydney
- Support each chamber with grant management services to alleviate the onerous tasks of applying for, reporting and acquitting public funds
- Identify potential efficiencies created when chambers work together
- Integrate our members with broader advocacy groups to increase our networks
- Identify ways in which chambers can be self sufficient and less reliant on council funding
Our results to date include
- Working with the ‘City Life’ team at City of Sydney to rejuvenate the way chambers work with, and are funded by the City
- A new format of Business Support Grants customised to integrate with the strategies of both the City and local chambers
- An annual pool of $180,000 grant funding for individual chambers to apply for
- $18,000 of transitional funding for individual chambers
This results of this campaign have seen each of our stakeholders achieve their desired outcomes. While the process to achieve these results has been complex and at time difficult, we have now outlined a pathway for chambers and the City to move forward and provide local businesses with the support they need to survive and thrive.