Outdoor trading has been a lifeline for many Knox businesses.
The expansion in outdoor space has enabled residents to get out and support their local businesses safely.
Scoresby trader Damien Anderson owns Tiny’s Bar and Bottle Shop, an offshoot of its nearby Tiny Bear Distillery.
Neither venue had an outdoor space when COVID-19 emerged but the bar has since been able to accommodate patrons outside.
Damien applied to Council for approval to convert car spaces in front of his bar into a trading area, which he fitted out at his own expense.
“With everything having to go to outdoor service, we spoke to Knox Council and were able to convert two car spaces into a parklet for temporary service,” he says.
“On the days when it has been good weather, it’s probably the most popular spot we’ve got. It has given us an extra opportunity to still trade. It definitely has opened up an extra revenue stream, which has given us a little bit more ability to roll with the punches."
“We’re finding a lot of people are saying we can come if there’s an outside space – if it is only indoors, they won’t come. So, that aspect of the bar having that small outside space is huge because it gives people confidence.”
Council has received funding as part of the Victorian Government COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Fund to help transform more outdoor spaces in and around shopping centres.
Seven shopping centres will receive upgrades including, new seating, planter boxes, landscaping, lighting, hand sanitiser stands, rubbish bins and dining pods with wheelchair access and footpath links.
They are Ferntree Gully Village, Knoxfield Shopping Centre, Mountain Gate Shopping Centre, Wantirna Mall, Rowville Lakes Village, Scoresby Shopping Village and Studfield Shopping Centre.