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Mainstreets Work, Say Members

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
auckland city council.jpg
auckland city council.jpg

11 September 2008 - The Mainstreet associations have been given a big tick - once again - by the businesses in their area, according to a council survey of business members.

Auckland City's Mainstreet programmes were initiated by the council in 1991. Effectively, they catalysed the formation of business associations in key areas of the city such as Newmarket, Ellerslie, Otahuhu and the CBD. There are now 17 Mainstreet associations in Auckland city.

Auckland City Council levies a targeted rate on commercial properties in each Mainstreet association area, and then returns these funds back to the association for spending on such activities as promotion, security, and street improvements.

The three-yearly satisfaction survey of Mainstreet associations, which the council conducts, this year received responses from 1400 members out of a total of almost 6800.

Of the 1344 businesses that gave an overall rating of their Mainstreet's overall performance, 44 per cent said it was excellent or very good.

"Members liked the way Mainstreets communicated with them," says Councillor Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, chairperson of the City Development Committee. "They liked the way they organised events and responded to issues. The results demonstrate Mainstreets have been an innovative, ground up programme to encourage businesses to help themselves to get better returns."

The survey outlined ways Mainstreet organisations could improve.

Local businesses said that Mainstreet associations needed to work harder to help businesses support each other (through networking, for example); to improve the way town centres looked; and to lobby council to ensure issues were acted upon.

"For those Mainstreet associations that were not so focused on these drivers, the survey offers prioritised guidance on how to improve their performance for their members," says Mr Lotu-Iiga.

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