Suburban Shopfront Activation

The Suburban Shopfront Activation pilot program launched in February 2020 to encourage property owners with vacant premises in Brisbane suburbs to provide opportunities for temporary use by emerging businesses.

Council put out a call to emerging businesses that were interested in occupying a temporary space and maintained a register to assist property owners in finding a suitable temporary tenant.

Council supported the pop-up use of vacant shops through a $2000 grant to both the property owner and the tenant.

The pilot program funded the facilitation of 12 pop-up shops.

The following businesses activated vacant shopfronts through this pilot program:

The pop-ups all brought interest and activity to vacant shops and the local business area. Four of the pop-ups continued longer term in their pop-up locations, becoming members of the local business community.  This program is one of the ways that Council strives to ensure Brisbane is Australia’s most business-friendly city with more support in the suburbs.

This program is now closed. To keep updated about any future opportunities to activate vacant shops, you can register your interest via email.

Hear from Empayah Jewellery featuring Glitterati

Karen Allan of Empayah – Glitterarti  made the leap to a brick and mortar store in James Street with the help of the Suburban Shopfront Activation program.

You can also watch this video via Council's YouTube channel

Video transcript

Hi, I’m Karen and this is my pop-up shop. I was part of the Brisbane City Council Shopfront Activation scheme and my label is Empayah Jewellery featuring Glitterati, which is all of my handmade acrylic earrings.

I started the Glitterati label in 2017. I actually took three or four years to research it and get right into it and I launched in 2018 and it’s been going really well. 

So, I’ve always wanted to have my own little shop and as soon as this scheme became available I jumped at the chance and thought this is my opportunity to bring what I do and bring what I have to people and to see if they like it, and they love it.

I do stock a very broad range and there is, 95 percent of them there’s a one only piece. So, I also like to make sure that everything I have is exclusive and makes people feel special that they’re wearing it.

Hear from Mizzie the Kangaroo

Sandra Ebbott from Mizzie the Kangaroo launched her flagship store at Ascot, with a little help from the Suburban Shopfront Activation program.

You can also watch this video via Council's YouTube channel.

Video transcript

I’m Sandra Ebbott, I’m the founder and managing director of Mizzie the Kangaroo.

So, we are home of Australia’s original natural teething toy and educational toys. We design and manufacture fun educational toys for babies between the ages of zero and three years old.

The pandemic has definitely put on a lot of challenges for our business. Our business model up until now has been 80 percent wholesale, 20 percent online. With retailers closing overnight back in March, so did our wholesale business. So, pretty much overnight we had to refocus our business. We've managed to actually flip our business to completely now being 70 percent online and 30 percent wholesale.

Were looking a lot better now and were feeling really positive.

I was very very lucky that Brisbane City Council contacted us and offered us a pop-up shop.

As a brand we’ve never really thought of that before because we sell to retailers, so they're shops, but this was actually an opportunity to create a bit of a flagship store environment as the brand.

We typically showcase our products at trade fairs, so to be able to actually showcaseit to the public and to people who are walking past, in the community, people I know, its actually been a huge opportunity.

Last updated: 10 May 2021