Why would we provide a subsidy to Business

The question “why would we provide a subsidy to business” is resonating in the media today. This repeats a question asked by elected members at our last meeting. We debated then whether to accept a request for grant funding by the Hyde Park Tavern.

Hyde Park Tavern The Tavern’s application for grant funding was partially successful. Council voted 7-5 in favour of grant funding of $10,000. They had requested funding for half the budgeted cost of $ 70,000 for the project.

Debate on the night was lively. Many elected members I suggest argued that we are not and should not be in business to subsidise business. That is true. I agree.

The project however for which funding was requested and approved was to create an outdoor dining area. An outdoor dining area, not on their land, but on council land.

I believe those who supported the grant recognised that this business was prepared to invest in improving “our” infrastructure”. In other words it is a case not of a subsidy to business but supporting businesses who wish to contribute to improve the amenity of the neighbourhood in which they operate.

Why would we provide a subsidy to Business. I say because they are prepared to invest in their community. Because this will improve the environment in King William Road. And because this will be  a welcome forerunner to the redevelopment of King William Road north of the Tavern.

Council has been looking for some time now to reinvest in King William Road just north of the Tavern. We are currently redeveloping Goodwood Road in similar fashion. Businesses in both strips will benefit from any such redevelopment. In these cases no business will be asked to put their hand in their pocket to assist in funding the redevelopment of our infrastructure.

At Goodwood Road this means that businesses such as Gingers, Boulangerie, Goodwood Bakehouse, Two Sisters, the Capri will potentially benefit from the work we are currently doing. What about the businesses on King William Road north of the Tavern. How many of them will benefit? Should they be asked to contribute to those projects.

We should be thankful that the Hyde Park Tavern is prepared to undertake redevelopment of Council’s infrastructure. Such development makes for a thriving and more vibrant city. A thriving business district is an essential component of a desirable neighbourhood.