Shopfront & new employment thanks to activation grants

Our campaign to fill Frankston City’s vacant shops and enhance local employment is gaining momentum with three businesses taking advantage of our activation grant.

Betty’s Burgers will move into 25 Playne Street while Eeny Meeny Café plan to open a specialty sandwich bar in the city centre.

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Eeny Meeny on Young Street

Loom and Spindle, a textile and yarn crafting specialty store, will activate a shopfront at 16 Station Street to help help shape the Australian crafting industry and bring creativity to the location.

Each business was assessed by an independent panel and has secured a $20,000 Vacant Shopfront Activation Grant to help them get started with their venture.

Invest Frankston (Frankston City Council) in partnership with the Victorian State Government offered the new grant program specifically to attract new businesses to vacant shopfronts across the City. A strong focus of the grant was strengthening employment opportunities in the region.

Betty’s Burgers Chief Commercial Officer, Merissa Collins, said they were excited to enhance the revitalisation of Playne Street with their 1950s burger shack style family restaurant, which began in Noosa Heads in 2014.

Ms Collins said a main drive of the organisation was to help boost local and youth employment. “Betty’s Burgers has big plans to employ up to 60 staff members, so we are thrilled to be able to support and build employment in the local area. Betty’s is not only known for our made to order fresh and delicious burgers but for our unique restaurant design inspired by our original Noosa beach shack,” Ms Collins said.

“Frankston beach side is the perfect spot for Betty’s Burgers and the grant will help us make this a reality sooner,” Ms Collins said.

Ms Collins said she and the Managing Director are locals to Frankston and keen for the restaurant to add to the resurgence of the City and become part of the rich community fabric.

Speaking of fabric, Loom and Spindle has begun it’s fit out at 16 Station Street, with owner Andrea Rothwell beginning her creation of a unique retail and workshop space for local textile crafters, supplying materials and tools for knitters, crocheters, weavers, felters and spinners.

“Receiving the Council grants (L&S were also successful in receiving a Facade Improvement Grant) has really boosted the project, I’m now able to get the smaller details right and employ locals trades to help me with the work,” Ms Rothwell said.

Loom & Spindle’s new space at 16 Station Street, Frankston

“The grants will go towards refurbishing the shop floor and ceiling, modernising signage and the façade, greening the balcony space and the installing the kitchen.

She said she was also planning a coffee bar in the retail space, with a communal table for crafting.

“My core focus in the design process is getting the materials and textures, and lighting design right to create a great atmosphere in store. I’m hoping to give customers a reason to visit regularly be it for a catch-up with friends, project support or the opportunity to explore new yarns, fibres and projects.”

Deputy Mayor Nathan Conroy said Council is committed to establishing new businesses, creating growth and supporting local employment outcomes in Frankston City.

“The grant has been designed to financially assist with transforming properties into confident, sustainable and attractive spaces that create new business and jobs for Frankston City and surrounding suburbs.

“These grants are a fantastic incentive to not only help businesses pursue their bricks and mortar enterprises, but also help revitalise the City’s economy,” Cr Conroy said.

The State Member for Frankston, Paul Edbrooke MP, congratulated the grant recipients, adding: “Congratulations to our Vacant Shopfront Activation Grant recipients who will breathe even more life into our CBD. Considering the challenges that COVID-19 has thrown at our city, I’m very pleased to have assisted Council to secure funding for this crucial initiative,” Mr Edbrooke said.

Nine applications for the Vacant Shopfront Activation Grants were evaluated and assessed against Council desired outcomes such as creating local employment, increasing foot traffic, demonstrating positive flow on impacts for other local businesses, invigorating retail shopping strips and activating an unused site.

The Vacant Shopfront Activation Grant funding pool totalled $110,000, with $60,000 of the total funding pool provided by the Office of Suburban Development and endorsed by the Frankston Revitalisation Board.

The additional $50,000 was committed as part of Council’s COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Package 2020-2021.

Invest Frankston is currently working hard to secure more funding for a another round of Vacant Shopfront Activation Grants next year.