The pandemic has been hard on the CBDs of cities worldwide and Brisbane is no exception.
While there has been a 59 per cent increase in Queen Street Mall foot traffic over recent weeks, City Centre businesses have struggled with low and fluctuating visitation numbers for more than 2 years.
But if one thing is certain, Brisbane’s business community is resilient, with CBD operators banding together to spread a message loud and clear - Brisbane is open for business.
Brisbane Economic Development Agency’s (BEDA) new ‘Love Brisbane’ campaign is helping to accelerate The City’s recovery by reconnecting visitors and residents to Brisbane’s unique businesses.
From the founder of Queensland’s oldest record store to the curator of the popular Wednesday Brisbane City Markets, the latest recovery campaign features the faces behind iconic businesses in a push to promote The City.
By putting a human touch to the businesses impacted by the pandemic and floods, the campaign aims to encourage office workers, visitors and residents to come into The City to dine, shop and play.
One personality featured in the campaign is calligrapher Barbara Nicol, owner of one of The City’s longest-running businesses, The Pen Shoppe.
After 53 years instructing the art of handwriting, Barbara says she couldn’t imagine having The Pen Shoppe anywhere other than Brisbane CBD.
“I love elegant and beautiful surroundings such as Brisbane Arcade that match the environment of The Pen Shoppe,” Barbara said.
“People walk through the arcade to refresh themselves and feel happy. I have people come into my shop and say they feel so relaxed and just want to stand in here for a while. The in-store ambience and experience are very important to me.”
Another local sharing his love for Brisbane is Warwick Vere, the founder of The City’s iconic Rocking Horse Records, which has been catering to the musical tastes of Queenslanders since 1975.
“We’ve been in the city for 46 years and looking forward to having everyone back. Vinyl is king, and we’ve got tons of it!” he said.
A celebration of The City’s world-class hospitality and retail businesses will be the key focus for driving visitor demand in 2022.
After the successful launch of Dine BNE City in 2021, the campaign will return in May to help bring an economic boost to City Centre hospitality venues after a slow start to trade this year.
The inaugural campaign served up more than 80 offers and events from 54 of the best restaurants and bars last year as part of a two-week campaign to reignite the city’s dining scene.
Partnerships with the Brisbane Street Art Festival (May) and Brisbane Fashion Festival (August) will add to The City’s vibrant arts and culture scene while the annual Shop BNE City (September) is expected to draw thousands of fashionistas to provide a much-needed spending boost for the retail sector.
Stay up to date with everything at @brisbanecity.
Brisbane is an energetic and exciting city jam-packed with cultural experiences, adventurous outdoor activities, entertainment and shopping precincts and a laid-back vibe you won't see anywhere else.
It’s also home to Queensland’s largest fashion selection, Queen Street Mall, which boasts more than 700 stores, from department stores and flagships to independent, Brisbane-made designers.
Where to start? The Brisbane app is helping visitors and residents to uncover local places, events, and experiences while showcasing local businesses to more customers.