DATA on how well Orange retail businesses are performing is hoped to instruct Orange City Council on how best to support the CBD and get ahead of changing trends.
One Tuesday night, councillor Kevin Duffy asked for data on business closures in the main street, but commercial services director Mark Burdack queried what value the data would bring, saying he was in talks with the Australian Tax Office to gain data on retail sales and GST contributions.
"[That will] get the overall health of the retail community rather than shop by shop, and also what's impacting on retail sales," he said.
Orange has an opportunity to get out ahead and restructure as other country towns start to lose their large retailers, which is an inevitable process.Councillor Kevin Duffy
"Orange has an opportunity to get out ahead and restructure as other country towns start to lose their large retailers, which is an inevitable process."
Councillors queried the role of parking contributions in deterring businesses from starting up, however Mr Burdack said he was conscious of cross-subsidising landlords, allowing them to keep rents at an "artificially high" rate.
Turtle and Ghost Rider owner Carly Cost-Chretien, who started her business in November, hoped boutique shops represented the "new wave" to carry the CBD.
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"Large corporations undermine the creativity of individual enterprise - they see an idea, take it, manufacture in bulk and sell it very cheaply," she said.
"People can't resist the low price point because wages have stagnated, but if people don't support small businesses, there will be no shopping in regional towns and regional towns will suffer."
She said street events similar to those offered in Bathurst and Dubbo would bring more people into Summer Street and a pedestrian mall in Anson Street with eateries concentrated in the area would create a hub for consumers to then shop in surrounding stores.
Councillors asked whether parking time limits could be increased so people could shop for longer or get a meal.
But with the measure also potentially slowing parking turnover in high-traffic areas, Mrs Cost-Chretien said the only solution was to boost parking stock.
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