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SBG - What we do, and what we have been up to...

Updated: May 2




The Group was established in July 2021, the Covid period when it was difficult to get together, but it did provide an outlet for small business owners to get together over zoom and help each other out.

As part of our ongoing commitment to the Somerville community, the purposes of the association are-:

• To represent the views of the Somerville Business Community and provide a collective voice of ideas, activities and issues that will enhance the Town Centre.

• To develop positive relationships between businesses, Community and Council.

• To Promote Somerville as a great place to Shop, Work, Invest and Play for all relevant stakeholders.

* To liaise with Local Council and Councilors, liaise with State and Federal members of Parliament, liaise with Local Police, Liaise with NBN providers and other Telco's, and to liaise with each other.


In accordance with the purposes of the Group, some of the things that we have worked on are as follows-:

1.      Advocated to all levels of Government about the Somerville Roundabout. The State Government wrote to us and indicated that there would be an upgrade of $930 000 to the lighting and pedestrian crossings, with the final stage of the Grant Road pedestrian crossing being completed in March 2024.

2.      Further advocacy to Paul Mercurio (State MP) and Councillor Kate Roper regarding realignment of Eramosa Road West and installation of traffic lights at the Somerville Roundabout.

3.      Looking to improve the land on the western side of the railway line in Somerville opposite the Somerville Hotel and Mechanics Hall.

4.      NBN rollout - successfully fought for the rollout to include Somerville residential and industrial areas through Zoe McKenzie.

5.       Mobile phone coverage - met with Zoe McKenzie (Federal MP) and David Coleman (Shadow Minister for Telecommunications) regarding poor mobile phone coverage, particularly in the eastern side of Somerville.

6.      Registered Somerville for the Peri Urban Pump Mobile Program (PUMP) for improved Mobile Service in Somerville. Zoe McKenzie, Paul Mercurio, Somerville/ Tyabb Rotary, the CFA and other local businesses registered also.

7.      Santa comes to Somerville for the third year. Despite the poor weather Santa and his helpers were met by many kids, making 2023 the best yet. Great event in all the shopping centre precincts, that Santa really looks forward to.

8.      The Best Christmas window competition for the retail shops held for the third year.

9.      Hastings seat Candidates Forum held in November 2022.

10.  Watson Ward Candidates Forum held in March 2023.

11.  Reinstallation of the Somerville Roundabout directional sign after 9 months with Vic Roads.

12.  Advocated to the owners of Somerville Plaza for the installation of a mobility scooter crossing in the car park leading to Eramosa Road East.

13.  Advocated to the owners of Somerville Plaza regarding the need to maintain and beautify the Plaza.

14.    Contacted Melbourne Water to tidy up the drain between Somerville Plaza and Somerville Central, the weeds were overgrown, and rubbish was removed.

15.  “Things to be fixed in Somerville” – introduced a comprehensive list of big or small projects to be fixed or started in Somerville.

16.  Introduced the “Small Business Van” to Somerville.

17.  Advocated to other banks (unsuccessfully) once the Commonwealth Bank closed.

18.  Advocated to Ritchies site managing agents, wrote to over 20 prospective tenants and responded to queries accordingly. The battle to lease the fifth largest retail property is on-going.

19.  Advocating for the successful completion of the Baxter to Somerville Bike trail, which Kate Roper has indicated will go to tender in May 2024.

20. Advocated to Vic Roads for a review of speed limits in Somerville. Recently Grant Road speed limit was decreased to better suit the industrial area traffic that uses the road.

21.  Attended seminars and discussions as invited by Council, State and Federal members.

 

The main aim of all the above is to create a better Somerville. If Somerville has nice areas that people are happy to visit, the town can promote itself as a destination. If more people come to Somerville as a destination, the more the sales will be in all our local retail areas, the more people will want to live here, the more people will want to work here and the more outside businesses will want to invest here.


That is why we advocated for better NBN in Somerville. All businesses in Somerville would have benefited, in particular local home-based businesses. This should lead to productivity increases for all.

Similarly, better Mobile Phone coverage will lead to better productivity and outcomes for all.


The best way to seek these better outcomes is to engage with our elected representatives, and the local council. Sometimes they like us, sometimes they don’t, but if it leads to better outcomes for Somerville businesses then that is why we are here, to promote Somerville as a great place to Shop, Work, Invest and Play for all relevant stakeholders.

We don't want to hear or see people saying, "we get nothing over here", "everything goes to the other side of the peninsula", "why can't we have that?"

We can, but we have to advocate for it, fight for it and be united in what we want.


We are here to help and if you would like further information, please send an email to somervillebusinessgroup@gmail.com or ph: 0409 169 492 and ask for David Livingstone.


We hold regular monthly meetings and have guest speakers to help with all levels of your business.


Somerville Business Group Inc                                                                                       April 2024 

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