Fre­man­tle BID has re­launched to be­come Freo Now

Busi­ness group re­brands it­self

Fremantle Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Leah Roberts

NEW name, same tar­gets: the Fre­man­tle Busi­ness Im­prove­ment District has been re­launched as Freo Now.

The mem­ber-based or­gan­i­sa­tion’s main goals are to im­prove the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment and rep­re­sent mem­bers.

Freo Now chair­man Karl Bullers said Fre­man­tle BID mem­bers were dis­ap­pointed to see BID fund­ing cut.

“Es­pe­cially in the light of ma­jor achieve­ments of the last cou­ple of years, they pushed us to keep the or­gan­i­sa­tion go­ing, even in a scaled back form,” he said.

“The change to brand­ing and fo­cus were de­ter­mined by the board long be­fore the fund­ing was with­drawn.

“Coun­cil­lors also made it clear in the dis­cus­sions about dif­fer­en­tial rate fund­ing that they would like to see BID con­tinue in some form un­der its own steam.”

Mr Bullers is also a mem­ber of the new Des­ti­na­tion Mar­ket­ing Work­ing Group (DMWG), de­signed to draw more vis­i­tors to Fre­man­tle. He said he would con­tinue to be a mem­ber of both Freo Now and DMWG.

“Freo Now mem­bers have rep­re­sen­ta­tion on DMWG and this was part of the pro­posal voted on by coun­cil,” he said.

“Short term, we want to set up a good base of mem­ber­ship and help re­tail­ers and busi­nesses cope with the CBD re­de­vel­op­ment.

“Longer term we are look­ing to find other fund­ing streams, help build­ing own­ers and cre­atives fill up empty shop space, ac­ti­vate/im­prove the city and rep­re­sent mem­bers at all lev­els – pretty much the same tar­gets as the BID.”

Former Fre­man­tle coun­cil­lor Rob Fit­tock was an­nounced as the in­terim chief ex­ec­u­tive of Freo Now and said he was a big sup­porter of the BID.

“When the op­por­tu­nity was pre­sented to me I did not hes­i­tate, es­pe­cially look­ing at the cal­i­bre of the peo­ple on the board and the in­cred­i­ble work that they have achieved over the past cou­ple of years,” he said.

“On the back of that I be­lieve that I can bring the ex­pe­ri­ence and the net­work skills that I have main­tained since my years on coun­cil to de­liver a strong voice and ad­vo­cacy to the peo­ple at the coal face, the Fre­man­tle busi­ness com­mu­nity.”

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey­mu­ni­ d484552

Freo Now mem­bers Rob Fit­tock, Julie Mor­gan and chair­man Karl Bullers.

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