Central Geelong marketing program delivery change

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

City of Greater Geelong Councillors have voted not to declare a special rate for Central Geelong Marketing, saving CBD businesses an average of $771 per year.

Councillors instead voted in favour of an alternative recommendation, dissolving the Central Geelong Marketing Committee and allocating $700,000 in the 2021-22 budget to deliver marketing and events for central Geelong during the next financial year.

The funding will also cover a review of the program, including engagement with CBD businesses as well as the Central Geelong Business Reference Group, as part of considerations for future program delivery models beyond the next financial year.
Council has requested the CEO deliver the review by March 2022.

Councillor Anthony Aitken, who put forward the alternative recommendation, said the removal of the special rate would be a welcome reprieve for central Geelong businesses, who had been significantly impacted by the pandemic.

This decision is about showing our CBD business operators that we are listening, and we are here to support them as our CBD goes through a period of transition and growth.
It recognises that central Geelong businesses are only just bouncing back after an incredibly challenging 12 months.
We have found a way to deliver a comprehensive marketing program that will continue to attract visitors to the CBD, whilst avoiding a further financial commitment from the business operators.
At the same time, we have requested a review that will look for clever and creative opportunities to market and promote central Geelong in the future.
We had the opportunity to make this change now in search of a better way forward, and it was important that we seized it rather than waiting another five years.

Feedback from the Central Geelong Business Reference Group Findings Report, tabled in September last year, indicated support for the services delivered by Central Geelong Marketing, but sought improvements to the funding model.

It was suggested that as the program provided broad benefits to the entire Greater Geelong municipality, the costs should not be borne by Central Geelong businesses and property owners only.

While the original report presented at last night’s meeting recommended that Council declare the special rate, it acknowledged that ‘…on balance, there is general support for the program … but not for the funding model (i.e. charging a special rate)’.

As a result of the funding change, the program of services previously provided through the Central Geelong Marketing program will be altered.

The funding provided by Council will contribute to consolidated, targeted, Business2Business promotions, and events such as Tastes of Central Geelong, the Christmas program and school holiday activities.

City of Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher acknowledged the work delivered by Central Geelong Marketing over the past 20 years.

Central Geelong Marketing has provided support to central Geelong businesses over the past two decades, but it is time we look for positive change in the model and take a broader approach to supporting and growing our CBD.
As with all Council services, it’s important we continue to adapt and evolve to meet the changing needs of our community.
We look forward to continuing to deliver meaningful promotion and marketing of central Geelong businesses and, through the review, uncovering new and innovative ideas to achieve our aims for the area.

Page last updated: Wednesday, 26 May 2021