The Nationals leader and Member for Murray Plains, Peter Walsh, says a Liberals Nationals government will pour $30 million into a new Local Shopping Strip Recovery Plan.
Mr Walsh said from Echuca to Lakes Entrance, and Swan Hill to Warrnambool, and everywhere in between, local shopping strips have been devastated by the Andrews Labor Government’s lockdowns.
He said instead of another year of Andrews-imposed purgatory, local shopping strips are in desperate need of positive, practical support to recover and rebuild.
“And that’s exactly what our Plan will deliver – small businesses will finally have a government which works with them, and creates the conditions they need to thrive,” Mr Walsh said.
“That means no more lockdowns, no more density limits, no more mask mandates and now, a $30 million cash injection to help rebuild and recover,” he said.
“Our program will provide grants up to $500,000 for small businesses to develop priorities and plans to reinvigorate their local strips.
“This could include things such as encouraging pop-up shops to fill empty spaces, support for local activation events such as streets fairs, or beautification and practical improvements such as outdoor dining spaces, plantings, pocket parks, employing local mural artists and designers, lighting and footpath upgrades.
“A special fund of up to $20,000 will be made for strip marketing and promotional campaigns.”
Mr Walsh said the program will focus on bringing together groups of small businesses and harnessing their local expertise to provide real outcomes to local businesses.
He said for Victoria to be number one again, it starts with supporting small business to get back to its best.
“We want business to thrive and our local shopping strips to hum once again, and that’s what our plan is all about,” Mr Walsh said.
“Only a Liberals and Nationals Government will give businesses the confidence and security to rebuild and recover,” he added.
“Our program will be a big boost to local jobs and employment to all of Victoria, not just businesses in metropolitan Melbourne.
“During lockdown, local shopping strips were often the only places where we could feel like a community. Our plan sets them up for a better, brighter future.”