Grey Lynn Business Association (GLBA)

Paul Stephenson is the Chair of the Grey Lynn Business Association (GLBA) and a local business owner.

GLBA was established to foster collaboration, innovation and sustainable growth for local Grey Lynn businesses. The board is a group of volunteers doing our best for our members on limited grants, and membership fees, in our spare time.

Is that enough support for those members?
While we have supported businesses in Grey Lynn for a decade, we recognise that our volunteer approach is no longer sufficient. Grey Lynn businesses deserve a dedicated professional resource with appropriate funding to foster a positive environment that supports businesses to thrive.

What are you doing about that?
We are now leading the proposal to develop the BID (Business Improvement District) for Grey Lynn with support from the Waitematā Local Board of Auckland Council.

What are the neighbouring areas doing?
Our neighbouring business areas (including Ponsonby, Karangahape, Uptown and Kingsland) are mostly Business Improvement Districts. There are 51 BIDs across Auckland. The businesses in these zones are supported by a BID organisation that advocates for business interests and invests in collective success. The BID structure is designed to help local businesses thrive. Grey Lynn does not have a BID, so our businesses are missing out.

What is the area that the Grey Lynn BID will cover?
It follows the ridge, along Great North Road, through Grey Lynn and West Lynn villages and the commercial areas ringed by Richmond Road. It includes about 400 businesses in commercial buildings and 300 residential-based businesses. The area is rapidly evolving, with eclectic shops, creative industries, destination retail, thriving services and significant investment in construction and transport infrastructure.

How do you know what the businesses want?
Over the last six months, we have surveyed local businesses about whether they would support a BID and what they want from a BID. The strength of the survey response has allowed us to build a plan and budget that reflect what businesses told us they value.

What will you do for those businesses?
We will create a properly funded professional organisation to represent businesses in Grey Lynn that will focus on:

· Marketing and Promotion: Promoting Grey Lynn as a brand and destination for customers and business investment. Providing market research and business intelligence data for local businesses.

· Business Skills and Networks: Supporting thriving business networks and attractive events. Building your business skills in the areas you see as priorities.

· Representation and Influence: Representing local business interests and opportunities as our area grows and evolves.

· Placemaking: Acting as a catalyst for safe, secure and beautiful local environments and streetscapes that attract customers and businesses.

How will the BID be established?
Local businesses and commercial property owners will vote in October 2024.

Now that we have passed some logistical milestones, we will be informing businesses of the details as we campaign for businesses in Grey Lynn to vote ‘YES’ to become a BID.

You will hear more about this in the coming months and we urge all businesses in the catchment area to get involved and ask questions.

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Published: May 2024