Media releases

Backing businesses and attracting investment

15 May 2023
  • $12.1 million for Invest Melbourne
  • $2.4 million for digital permits
  • $1.2 million to support business precincts
  • $540,000 to reduce shopfront vacancies
  • $375,000 to promote Melbourne as a place to do business

The City of Melbourne is enhancing its reputation as a global investment destination by streamlining processes, attracting new businesses and arming traders with the tools and resources to make it easier to do business in Melbourne.

The draft Budget 2023–24 includes a $12.1 million boost for Council’s business support service, Invest Melbourne, to foster innovation, create jobs, support existing businesses and drive new business to the city.

Over the past 12 months, Invest Melbourne has secured 48 investment projects – creating nearly 1,200 new full-time jobs and about $400 million in capital investment.

Council’s Business Concierge service will ramp up its work to support new and existing city businesses, with a $500,000 investment.

Since January 2022, the Business Concierge team has provided free advice and mentoring to more than 15,500 city businesses – reducing the time it takes for a business to start up in the city and supporting them as they embrace Melbourne’s new rhythm.

The draft Budget also includes $1.2 million for precinct associations to create more opportunities for business networking, education and training, and initiatives to encourage visitation and local spending.

Council will make it easier to do business in the municipality, with $2.4 million to complete the Digital Permits Project – fast-tracking permit approval timelines and cutting red tape for traders and buskers.

We’ll also continue to back the hospitality and retail sector with $540,000 to continue efforts to reduce shopfront vacancies.

The Shopfront Activation Program has played an essential role in reducing the city’s shopfront vacancy rate from 31 per cent in November 2021 to 15 per cent in 2023. Since November 2021, Council has activated 67 spaces with pop-up shops, creative offerings and bespoke displays.

Invest Melbourne is supported through the $200 million Melbourne City Revitalisation Fund – a joint partnership between the City of Melbourne and the Victorian Government.

The draft Budget 2023–24 will be announced on Tuesday 16 May, with public consultation to follow until midnight Thursday 8 June.

Quotes attributable to Lord Mayor Sally Capp

“It’s never been easier to start and operate a business in Melbourne. We have a thriving tourism and hospitality sector, an innovative tech space, and countless opportunities for city-shaping capital works projects. City of Melbourne provides essential support services to make investment in Melbourne a seamless experience.”

“Invest Melbourne already boasts a pipeline of more than 120 major projects, which would create more than 1,000 new jobs and generate $2 billion in capital expenditure.”

“We’re investing in Melbourne’s growth to attract more businesses and drive innovation in our city – to continue growing our economy and the jobs that go with it.”

Quotes attributable to Business and Global Opportunities portfolio lead Councillor Kevin Louey

“Our Precinct Associations play an incredibly important role in advocating for local businesses – bringing them together to share ideas and encouraging spending in local neighbourhoods.”

“We’re backing their innovative ideas and local knowledge with a $1.2 million investment, benefitting hundreds of businesses across our municipality.”

Quotes attributable to Small Business portfolio lead Councillor Jason Chang

“Melbourne’s small business owners are the heart and soul of the city and the engine room of our economy.”

“We’re making it easier to do business by cutting red tape and attracting new investment to drive innovation and create jobs.”

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