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Parramatta CBD ready for an entrepreneur-led awakening: New grants program

Thursday, 14 November 2013 | By Rose Powell

Parramatta City Council has launched a grant program to entice entrepreneurs to set up shops and offices in one of Sydney’s most densely populated regions.


The Activate Parramatta program is seeking innovative business ideas to back with $10,000. The priority areas are retail, hospitality and creative industries.


The Lord Mayor of Parramatta, John Chedid, told StartupSmart they were excited about working with entrepreneurs to revitalise key sections of the suburb’s CBD.


“We’ve been very proactive over the last few years in saying to the whole country: we’re open for business. We want new businesses to come and invest in our city and we want to invest in you too,” Chedid says.


The council is looking for original ideas with commercial potential that will contribute to the “diversity and vibrancy of Parramatta”. There is no cap on the number of grants available.


“We haven’t put a limit on the grants. As a city you don’t want to limit yourself. To be quite honest, we want to let the market determine exactly what they want. But I’d like to see some cafes, restaurants and bars, especially healthy ones,” he says.


Entrepreneurs don’t need to be living in Parramatta, but he says they’ll pay extra attention to local applications.


“If you can come along with a creative initiative, we want to back you. This is for the long term; we want people to set up and feel at home here,” Chedid says. “Our commitment is to allow entrepreneurs to show us their vision and we want to help them start-up their business.”


Start-ups can lodge expressions of interest via the website.