The port City of Fremantle has bounced back from the disruption of COVID-19 with a number of initiatives to support local and small businesses.

The City of Fremantle signed up to the Small Business Friendly initiative in 2019 and since then, has maintained a strong focus on supporting its small business community. The City  demonstrates its commitment to small businesses through activities designed to offer support, capacity building and direct engagement between the City and local businesses.

City of Fremantle business support programs

Businesses in Fremantle are supported through a range of programs, including the "This Is Fremantle" destination marketing brand and campaign activities, event activations, a Business Capacity Building program and online grants through the Fremantle Funding Finder portal.

Destination attraction focus

In recent years the City’s destination marketing campaigns have been a focus, with the launch of the This Is Fremantle brand in 2019. The brand, which reflects the values of spirit, soul and sea, was developed as part of the City’s Destination Marketing Strategic Plan. A Destination Marketing Working Group, consisting of tourism, retail, hospitality and business experts with a unique knowledge of Fremantle, collaborated on the plan. Local businesses are encouraged to use the logo and promote the "This Is Fremantle" brand through their own platforms.

To further promote the destination, the City has launched a new website, allowing visitors to craft their own bespoke itinerary and businesses can add listings to for free. A new destination magazine featuring stories of Fremantle inspires visitors to stay longer in the destination.

Ariel photo of the City of Fremantle.
Image courtesy of the City of Fremantle.

Tourism capacity building

In partnership with Tourism Council WA, the Destination Boost program equipped tourism businesses in Fremantle with the tools they needed to increase Fremantle’s bookable product and being in the best position to welcome visitors post COVID-19. Businesses were invited to take part in a series of workshops designed to help them grow and develop their business.

Richard Ballinger from Fremantle Tourist Wheel said “Destination Boost has been great in helping small businesses work on their business instead of just in it. It has brought to light the significance of working on your business and it’s provided the tools to achieve success.

“It’s important to be proactive as it’s very easy to get caught up in the day-to-day business rather being more strategic. The program has educated, excited and motivated me again.”

As part of its capacity building program, the City of Fremantle also sponsors the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce’s monthly live podcast forum Set the Month in Motion. The podcasts prompt business owners to think about their business growth and join in the panel discussion with a live audience.

Efforts recognised

The City’s work in supporting businesses was recognised when the City was awarded double gold at the 2022 Perth Airport Tourism Awards in both the Tourism Marketing & Campaigns and Excellence in Local Government Award for Tourism categories.

The City has revived Fremantle as a tourist destination and has proven that engaging with small businesses is the key to supporting them. It has demonstrated that collaboration and building relationships with local business experts allows local government officers to learn about the challenges and barriers that they face, and work together towards common goals that benefit all.

More information

Small business friendly
30 January 2023