MELBOURNE NEWS

Economy

Christmas Festival update from the Lord Mayor

The City of Melbourne Christmas Festival

The City of Melbourne has experienced its busiest weekend of the year to kick off our 2022 Christmas Festival.

There’s nothing like Christmas in the city, and we’re doing everything we can to bring hundreds of thousands of people to the CBD to enjoy the festive fun on offer and support our local businesses.

This year, there’s more activities to enjoy than ever before.

For two years the City of Melbourne has done everything possible to help small businesses recover from the devastation of the pandemic.

For two years the City of Melbourne has done everything possible to help small businesses recover from the devastation of the pandemic.

We have delivered the successful Shopfront Activation Program, inviting more than 40 creative and unique traders into our CBD to brighten up those empty shops.

We’ve created the exceptional Business Concierge service – a direct hotline for traders to receive advice while navigating these difficult times.

We’re expecting record crowds in the city this Christmas

We’ve enlivened our streets with Flash Forward, a major street art project that has amazed thousands of city-goers.  

We’ve waived more than $2.36 million in outdoor dining application and permit fees, supporting more than 1,300 businesses to trade on our iconic streets and laneways for free for two years.

We’ve allocated record budget amounts for events, cleanliness and safety.

Our efforts are paying off. City shoppers spent $340 million in September – 9 per cent above pre-COVID levels.

In the first eight months of the year, there were 167 new hospitality business openings – up 24 per cent on the same period in 2019.

Night-time activity is soaring, with Southbank leading the charge – up 30 per cent on 2019 levels.

We want this Christmas to be as busy as possible for you, our small business owners and your teams, after two years of interruptions.

We want this Christmas to be as busy as possible for you, our small business owners and your teams, after two years of interruptions.

Free from the restrictions of the pandemic, we’re expecting our biggest crowds ever and judging by the first weekend of activity we’re going to get them.

See you in the city this Christmas.

Sally Capp
Lord Mayor

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29 November 2022
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