A new initiative from a local realty company is aimed at reviving Bunbury’s CBD and helping small businesses develop.
Commercial Realty principal Mike Jenkins and commercial sales and leasing consultant Peter Blurton announced the company’s new “incubator project” last week, designed to allow small business owners to test business ideas in real time and in a business premises for up to six months.
“It’s a way of coming up with something different to try to utilise the vacant tenancies around the CBD in particular, although we have expanded it outside of the CBD as well,” Mr Jenkins said.
“It’s also a way of trying to encourage people who may want to trial a business idea but are a bit concerned about entering into a long term lease.”
According to Mr Jenkins, a number of landlords have come on board with the idea, offering the short term leases at minimal rates, often just consisting of the outgoing costs.
Each business and location will be determined and catered for on an individual basis and as part of the contract, carry project specific signage.
“We want to make it inexpensive, we want to make it easy and make it quick,” Mr Jenkins said.
Mr Blurton said the project came to fruition after he identified the major impediments for small or new businesses.
“What was occurring time and time again was I was talking to, generally speaking, younger couples who have been doing a bit of online stuff and had grown,” he said.
“The biggest impediment for them was ‘if I enter into a long term lease, does that mean I’m going to lose my house?’
“That was the sort of thing we had to look at, ‘how do we manage this fear?’.”
Both men made it clear the project was not aimed at established businesses, but to test if an idea could evolve into a commercial enterprise.