BUSINESSES will be asked within the next three months what they think should be included in the CBD upgrade after councillors again voiced their concerns about quiet trade.
Councillor Stephen Nugent asked when a forum would be held, pointing out the council had passed a resolution asking for one in October.
“We need to begin a conversation with the business community about what that revitalisation is going to look like,” he said.
Councillor Glenn Taylor said people were starting to travel to Bathurst and Dubbo because they could not find what they needed in Orange.
“We don’t seem to be attracting the number of larger chains, which therefore attract more people to other business outlets,” he said.
“People leave from Orange to travel to Bathurst and the problem that we face is people are going to specific outlets to purchase goods and they’re doing their other shopping whilst they’re there.”
He said the Orange City Centre redevelopment would restore confidence, but until then, the council needed to get on the front foot to attract more outlets.
“They put their stores where they believe they’ll get the returns they need, but the fact of the matter is if we leave it too much longer, they’re not going to come here,” he said.
General manager Garry Styles said Bathurst’s economy was largely privately-driven, but the CBD strategy would also consider wider economic factors, including accommodation and nightlife.