Targeted rate for Tawa businesses
A group of Tawa business and property owners have bold plans to change the suburb’s perception as a sleepy place with a lack of opportunities.
Vibrant Tawa Business Association has been ‘‘working its socks off’’ this year, said business consultant and local Tony HendersonNewport.
He has been engaged by Wellington City Council to get the association moving and help set up a Business Improvement District (BID).
There are 49 BIDs in Auckland and they have been established in Wellington the past three years.
‘‘They’ve been proven to work and, so far, the feedback from people in Tawa has been extremely good.
‘‘Business owners want Tawa to rise up and become a destination, through positive marketing and other avenues, it will have major spinoffs for the local economy.’’
A crucial part of the BID is for all commercial properties to be levied a targeted rate.
How much depends on what the property is worth - the rate is collected by Wellington City Council and passed on to the BID association for projects, promotions and advocacy designed to attract visitors and keep local people shopping there.
The rate could be up to $1.50 a day and bring in as much as $90,000 a year for the association.
It will go to a vote on December 16. At least a quarter of property owners must vote and 51 per cent must agree for the BID to go ahead.
Owner of Simon’s Unichem Pharmacy Ant Simon said the BID could only have a positive affect on Tawa.
He said the owners of Nada Bakery, Take Note, the Tawa Junction properties, Steph Knight from Less Mess and many others were supportive and involved.
Fortnightly meetings since the BID planning began in May have kept everyone on the same page.
‘‘It’s been a very aggressive timetable and the aim is to have the targeted rate in place, if it’s voted in, by July.
‘‘What the BID does is give Tawa its own ecosystem in a way and we can’t let the opportunity pass us by.’’
Henderson-Newport said it had been ‘‘an amazing pleasure’’ to work with a dedicated group of business and property owners.
‘‘Some don’t live here, but fly in for the big meetings, and others have come to us and said ‘Why should I be a part of this, what benefit will I get?’ But they’re going away convinced about what we’re doing.’’