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Retail pods bring businesses to central business district

Start-up business owners looking to take the next step towards a retail presence in the central business district are invited to apply for Orange City Council’s Retail Pod Project.

Installed kerbside in McNamara Street as part of the Future City initiative, the pods are two converted shipping containers offering home-based and part-time businesses the chance to try a ‘pop-up’ short-term retail space in the city centre, in a bid to transition into a commercially viable retail business.

POP-UP: Orange City Council’s retail pods offer home-based and part-time businesses the chance to try a short-term retail space in the central business district.

An initiative of Orange City Council, the pod project is managed by Central West Business HQ as part of the Orange Hub Business Transition program. The program aims to combat a declining independent retail sector, as well as the impact of COVID-19, by rebuilding and rejuvenating the CBD economy.

The pods are available to lease for three to six months, with subsidised rent, training and mentoring to build the owner’s business knowledge, gain face-to-face retail experience and complement their existing online marketing.

Orange Mayor Jason Hamling said four home-based businesses had occupied the pods since they were installed in McNamara Lane 12 months ago as part of Future City upgrades in the street.

“The Future City upgrades in McNamara Lane turned an otherwise overlooked part of the CBD into a vibrant, attractive space with public art, festoon lighting, more trees and road and footpath improvements making it an area where people want to spend more time,” Cr Hamling said.

“The retail pods are a vital part of this plan by encouraging people to come into the street, see what’s new and support the economy of the area.”

Business owners interested in setting up shop in a McNamara Street retail pod should visit the website

Applications are open to home or farm-based businesses, part-time or start-up businesses who do not have a retail premises in Orange and intend to sell products.

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