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Business looks rosy

Business looks rosy

At its meeting last night, the Rosebank Business Association (RBA) unanimously agreed to take up Auckland City’s suggestion that the commercial area of Rosebank Road become Auckland’s first Business Development Community (BDC).

The new pilot BDC strategy is designed to enable Auckland City Council to support business development in commercial and industrial areas in Auckland.

The proposal is based on the policies of the Auckland City Mainstreets programme and was discussed at the council’s Strategy and Governance Committee on Wednesday.

The establishment of a BDC would allow long-term funding to be allocated to business development projects overseen by the RBA.

The council successfully supports business communities in Auckland city through the established Mainstreets programme. This sees businesses, usually in a retail shopping area, pay targeted rates to the council, which then returns this to the local business association so that it can provide services that promote and develop economic growth in these town centres.

“We proposed a Business Development Community because the approach better reflects the different needs of areas like Rosebank Road where manufacturing and distribution, rather than retail, is the dominant business sector,” says Councillor Douglas Armstrong, acting chairperson of the Strategy and Governance Committee.

“The issues and dynamics of businesses in industrial areas means that the council needs to work with them in a different way to a traditional Mainstreet,” says Mr Armstrong.

RBA president Perry Scarfe said operating under Auckland City's Business Development Community model will allow long-term planning for the Rosebank business community.

“Under our current membership structure we are forced to plan year-to-year based on our funding, whereas the Business Development Community approach will give stability to the RBA enabling us to work on long-term strategies for issues such as traffic congestion, security, waste collection and zoning,” he says.

The next step in establishing a Business Development Community in Rosebank will be to hold a poll of all owners and occupiers of commercial property in the area. If the poll is successful, then the BDC will be set up and start operating in July 2005.

Rosebank Road plays a significant role in the Auckland regional economy with 56 per cent of businesses in the area exporting goods, and 54 per cent importing goods.

“We are committed to finding opportunities to work with key business communities like Rosebank Road to encourage economic growth,” says Mr Armstrong.

The area provides full-time equivalent employment to over 7000 people and there has been significant growth over the past 10 years with many businesses still in expansion mode.

“The establishment of the Rosebank Road BDC would be a pilot and, if it is successful, we may extend the programme to other industrial and commercial parts of the city,” says Mr Armstrong.

Auckland city plays a vital role in the national and regional economy accounting for 50 per cent of the region’s GDP.

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