Trader Support: supporting traders throughout renewal
The City of Melbourne is delivering the Queen Victoria Market Precinct Renewal program to make a great market even better. Renewal will secure the Market’s future as an affordable, authentic open-air market, known for fresh food and specialty shopping.
Market traders are a critical part of what makes the Queen Victoria Market a unique shopping environment and we want traders to succeed and thrive throughout renewal and beyond.
Melbourne City Council has committed at least $8 million to establish a support program and fund to assist traders to successfully operate, grow and innovate their businesses throughout the renewal program. The Trader Support Fund has been developed with the involvement of Market traders, and is delivered in partnership by Market management and the City of Melbourne.
For more information regarding Trader Support, please speak to your Precinct Manager.
About Trader Support Fund
Trader Support Fund and Program provides a range of initiatives designed to help traders mitigate impacts, realise opportunities and facilitate business development during the renewal program. Financial assistance may also be available where renewal works are shown to have a negative impact on trader profits.
The Trader Support program was co-designed with traders through a 12 week human centred design process with City of Melbourne’s CityLab team. Forty traders along with Small Business Victoria, the Small Business Commission and business experts have helped shape Trader Support. Trader involvement will also guide the future initiatives of the program.
Trader Support is freely available to all traders throughout the renewal program. All traders will be able to access independent, one to one expert support and advice from Business Mentors. Other support includes a dedicated tools and resources to help traders connect with their customers, access to health and wellbeing programs and financial assistance where renewal has had a demonstrated negative impact on profits.
In 2022 the City of Melbourne committed to reviewing the Trader Support Fund. Following consultation in early 2023, the City of Melbourne has made improvements to the program to make it more accessible for all traders.
The City of Melbourne and Queen Victoria Market management are committed to the success of traders through:
- A guaranteed place to trade throughout renewal.
- Stable lease and licence fees for existing traders.
- Informing and engaging traders in decisions impacting their business.
- Delivering better market facilities that make it easier for traders to run businesses.
- Creating even more reasons for customers to visit and spend more time at the market.
- At least $8 million support through the Trader Connect program.
Independent Business Mentors work with traders on their individual business priorities. Provided by the Small Business Mentoring Service (SBMS), a not-for-profit industry service provider, the business mentors have diverse and interesting backgrounds and offer wide experience across a full range of business areas.
SBMS provide an independent, confidential service to support market traders to determine their priorities, what they want to achieve at the market and how to best go about it.
Find out more and book a meeting here.
SBMS also hosts a range of events and workshops specifically for market traders. Visit the ‘Upcoming Events’ page on the Small Business Mentoring Service (SBMS) website for more information and to make a booking. A full list of services offered by SBMS can be found here.
Financial assistance is an important component of the overall Trader Suppport program, and is available where the effects of the QVMPR Program works cannot be adequately mitigated and have resulted in a demonstrable negative impact on the trader’s profit during the period of the works.
Financial assistance is provided via three levels of support, escalating in impact and financial value, providing a balance between proactive and reactive support.
More details of available financial assistance including claim forms can be found via Trader Connect Online.
Frequently Asked Questions
How will Trader Support Fund support traders?
Through the Trader Support program and fund all traders will be able to access independent, one to one expert support and advice from Business Mentors. Other support includes tools and resources to help customers find their favourite traders, access to health and wellbeing programs and financial assistance where renewal has had a demonstrated negative impact on profits.
Why is Trader Support needed?
The City of Melbourne has made a commitment to support traders throughout the renewal program. Along with a guaranteed place to trade for all current market traders, the City committed at least $8 million on a framework to support traders to mitigate the impacts of renewal, realise opportunities and facilitate business development. With dedicated support, traders will have the confidence to make decisions around the future of their businesses.
How was the program developed?
The program was co-designed with traders through a 12 week human centred design process managed through City of Melbourne’s CityLab team. The process defined and developed a program that reflected traders’ needs, priorities and aspirations. Forty traders, market management and City of Melbourne collaborated to ensure the outcomes provide real results for all traders. The program was updated in 2023 following a review by City of Melbourne to make it more accessible for all traders.
How much does it cost?
The program is freely available to all market traders. Melbourne City Council has committed at least $8 million to fund the Trader Support program to assist traders throughout the renewal program.
Who can access Trader Support?
All market lease and licence holders that operate in the market can access the Trader Support program.
Do traders have to access Trader Support?
Access to the services and resources provided by Trader Support is entirely optional. However, we recommend that you explore what is available to see how it can benefit your individual business priorities and needs. Any trader wishing make a financial assistance claim will need to demonstrate the steps they have taken to maintain profits and minimise losses during the period, and this can include access to the broader Trader Support initiatives.
Who are the Business Mentors?
The Business Mentors will be provided through the Small Business Mentoring Service (SBMS), an independent not-for-profit industry service provider. For over 30 years SBMS has delivered face to face support to the small, micro and nano business sector of Victoria. SBMS’s Business Mentors have diverse and interesting backgrounds and offer wide experience across a full range of business topics.
Are the Business Mentors independent?
The Small Business Mentoring Service (SBMS) will provide a completely confidential service to market traders.
What about financial assistance?
Financial assistance is an important component of the overall Trader Support program. Whilst Council and QVM Pty Ltd will minimise the effect of the QVMPR Program works on traders to the greatest extent possible, the financial assistance is available to traders where the effect of the works cannot be adequately mitigated and have resulted in a demonstrable impact on the trader’s profit during the period of the works. More detail regarding financial assistance, including how to make a financial claim, the criteria and the assessment process is available in the “Financial Assistance” section of this page.
How do traders make a financial claim?
All details on the claim process, the checklist, and supporting documentation can be found on Trader Connect Online. A detailed claims process is required to ensure appropriate access to public funds. An independent committee comprising a City of Melbourne representative and two independent members will review and assess all claims.
How long will Trader Support run for?
Trader Support will be freely available to all market lease and licence holders that operate in the market for the duration of the renewal program. The City of Melbourne wants small businesses to succeed and thrive throughout renewal, and has committed at least $8 million to assist traders to operate, grow and innovate their businesses throughout the renewal program.