Out of adversity comes opportunity” – Benjamin Franklin

It seems like a good week to be discussing opportunity out of adversity given the unprecedented rain, and slowly coming out of yet another lockdown.

An initial glance at some of the survey results coming in from our Fremantle Chamber Members Perception Survey confirms that more than half of our Chamber members who have responded to date, base their businesses in our Port City:

  • because Fremantle is home,
  • to build on the opportunities for brand connections, collaborations and the business; for Fremantle’s history and heritage, and
  • its desirable lifestyle.

We have also seen similar themes first hand in our #freofinds project and that is also coming through in the theme of this week’s Chamber Weekly.

With our #freofinds project, creating a visible reference to leverage those investment drivers and providing an imaginative take on the traditional “For Lease” sign, is showing conversion of a few of our empty and vacant commercial leases into appealing spaces that reflect our lifestyle and targets locals who can maybe ignite their imagination to see themselves moving or starting their businesses here.

Activations from the project include “Jonathan the Seagull” donning Acton on Queen Victoria Street, a 3D art gallery on High Street featuring black and white images of Fremantle, a French-style bistro and our most recent giant Lobster artwork installed at the Old Mussel Bar. All activations are creating an impressive attraction out of an empty space and already are drawing in potential tenants. It is our hope that #freofinds will set the benchmark for how commercial property is marketed into the future – creating a win for the landlord, our creative industries and the community.

A special thank you to our Small Business and Retail Committee, where the idea originated from, building on the popular UK High Street Project called “Shop Jackets”.

In other news this week, following a positive conversation with Public Transport Authority (PTA) on future transport connectors in Fremantle, we explored with the City of Fremantle the opportunities that a move for the Indian Pacific might present Fremantle. There are some engineering challenges with this historic move, but like all challenges, there is also significant opportunity that could be realised with some creative thinking. We will continue to engage in these conversations to keep these important projects on the agenda for Fremantle.

Finally, I encourage all of our members to please take 15 minutes out on this rainy day to complete our Membership Perception Survey. We will be using this data to help set our Committee’s strategic priorities for the year ahead, and to set the tone for delivery to you, our members and stakeholders. To make this Strategic Planning process effective we need your thoughts.

Here’s to a positive start to the school holidays, in spite of the rain, with FreoBuilds lego trail and the gradual easing of restrictions.

For this week’s Chamber Weekly, read more here.