South Sydney Business Chamber, along with Sydney TAFE and the City of Sydney, has come up with a unique way to help local retailers increase consumer footfall by reinvigorating their shopfronts. Karen Levin, South Sydney’s Treasurer and Executive Manager, shares insight on the Chamber’s Shopfront Showcase and Be a Localist campaigns.

“Running for the third consecutive year in 2016, South Sydney Business Chamber is behind Shopfront Showcase - a campaign that successfully unites commerce and arts by giving small businesses in South Sydney a great opportunity to showcase their unique displays to the public,” says Karen.

“Through art and creativity, we help create personal and real communication between businesses and their customer. Visual Merchandising students from Sydney TAFE and EORA TAFE enable local businesses stand out from the crowd, through exceptional shopfronts but above all by becoming key part of ‘localism’.

Being a true ‘localist’ is identified by building strong relationships between the local retailer and the surrounding community and in turn encouraging locals to invest within the neighborhood. Furthermore, retailers learn more about the importance of visual merchandising as well as basic skills, which then helps them, continue the process. Businesses need to understand that any executed decisions can have potential repercussions on the community, so not only do they learn how to make considered decisions for themselves, but also for the people living around them. Through more considered decisions, businesses prosper economically and more jobs are offered in the community.”

In 2016, 30 retailers - 14 shops in Waterloo and 16 shops in Redfern are participating in the Shopfront Showcase, along with 37 TAFE students. Billed as the best event yet, judges will announce the winners in the categories; Most eye-Catching, Most Challenging, Most Innovative and Most On-Brand on Monday November 24.

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