Gympie is the winner of yet another dubious honour as winner of the ‘Most Boarded Up Shop Fronts in the Main Street’ with a total of 62. The Courier Mail released an article on the 20th of April stating that regional main street businesses are closing at an alarming rate.
This is probably not startling news to anyone that has driven up Mary Street in recent times, it is blatantly obvious that there are empty shops everywhere. To the outside world, it looks like Gympie is dying.
In Gympie’s defence, this is isn’t a problem that is ours alone. There are many regional towns in Queensland suffering the same problem. The fact is, this is a problem almost everywhere in the western world. The move away from central city hearts to Walmart style shopping behemoths is killing towns all over the United States.
Add to this the rise and rise of online shopping that has taken people out of our main streets.
According to a 2018 Roy Morgan report; nearly 9.5 million Australians bought something online in the year to March 2018. That was an increase of 2.3 million people since 2014.
Amazon is now the biggest company in the world with a market value of $797 billion dollars as reported by CNBC in January 2019. What do Amazon do? They sell other people’s stuff and make money, lots of it.
So that is the doom and gloom, so what can be done to save us?
It has been said before and I will say it again. Together we stand divided we fall. Saving our town is a team effort, we all need to pull in the same direction.
We need to work on our UVP or Unique Value Proposition. What makes Gympie stand out was beautifully covered by Bernard Salt. We need to be authentic, honest, open and helpful. These are the things that can’t be replicated by Amazon.
Many comments made about Gympie by visitors, the very people who are injecting money into our town, say:
“We have such a beautiful main street’
‘We come here for the beautiful buildings’
“We love the quaintness of Gympie’
If you are an owner of an empty shop in Mary Street, wouldn’t you rather get smaller rent for a start-up giving things a go, rather than no rent at all?
There are so many quirky, little businesses in Gympie, let’s showcase them in our main street, which gets the message out to tourists and visitors alike that we really are what they saying we are…. Let’s capitalise on what we are known for.
Gympie is a wonderful town and it is one of the best places for investment right now, especially in real estate. You don’t need an economics degree to know that buying low and selling high is a great strategy. Some fresh ownership blood will work wonders in Mary street. You can buy a shop front in town for a comparative bargain and make a fresh go of that store.
If you are even remotely interested in investing in Gympie, you really should grab a ticket to the upcoming breakfast with residential property investment specialist Terry Ryder. The breakfast starts at 6.45 on the 15th of May at the Gympie RSL, tickets are essential and are available at the Gympie Chamber of Commerce website.
The Gympie Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Mary Valley, Tin Can Bay and Rainbow Beach Chambers of commerce to bring you this event. The event would not be possible without the support of the support of the Gympie Regional Council
Feature image courtesy of David Senior