Faces from Grey Lynn Business Association (GLBA)

Marco Muñiz is an owner of La Mexicana, and a board member of Grey Lynn Business Association (GLBA).

We asked them to tell us their story.

How many shops do you own?
Three. My partner, Fletcher Selaries and I started La Mexicana in Grey Lynn in 2020 and expanded to the Milford shop in 2021. Then we opened Milford Beach Pizza a year ago.

What attracted you to Grey Lynn?
Grey Lynn is a vibrant community with diverse customers and residents, a trendy and creative hub close to Auckland's CBD that features a mix of historic buildings, parks and cultural events. Locals value sustainability and inclusivity.

How is Grey Lynn working for you?
We love the village vibe and have enjoyed meeting all the other local businesses. As a business owner, we have a supportive environment and, as a Grey Lynn resident, we have a high quality of life with easy access to amenities and public transport.

And you have joined the local business association?
Yes – having businesses in Milford, we can see the potential to get even more for Grey Lynn village and our business by collaborating with our neighbours and the wider suburb.

How does that work in Milford?
Milford has been a Business Improvement District (BID) since 2008 and it has made Milford a vibrant and attractive place to operate any type of business. Milford’s BID has a substantially bigger budget compared to what Grey Lynn Business Association has to work with. The bigger budget helps with organising lots of events that generate sales and exposure for all businesses. We get constantly promoted through social media and Milford websites. In Milford, we have private security, we have gardeners and cleaners and good relationships with council and Auckland Transport. Being a BID provides more opportunities to improve the suburb, which is just what businesses need here in Grey Lynn.

What is a Business Improvement District?
Part of the rates paid by local commercial property owners goes to the local BID organisation so that they have a sensible level of funding. It allows the BID to employ a dedicated champion and organise initiatives that support the needs of local businesses.

Is Grey Lynn a BID?
No. We think Grey Lynn businesses are missing out, especially when our neighbouring precincts have dedicated resources to support their businesses.

What can Grey Lynn do about that?
That's why I joined the business association. GLBA is working to get a BID and I wanted to support that. We have made excellent progress and have now met most of the council requirements to become a BID.

What area will the Grey Lynn BID 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's a diverse area 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?
We surveyed local businesses and they told us that they are interested in:

· Marketing to promote Grey Lynn as a brand and destination for customers and business investment.

· Business skills and networks to support thriving business relationships and attractive events.

· Representation and influence to champion local business interests.

· Placemaking to encourage safe, secure and beautiful local environments and streetscapes that attract customers and businesses.

What happens next?
Local businesses and commercial property owners will vote in October. If enough businesses vote in favour of it, we will become a BID. It's time to spread the word.



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