Hutchinson Builders national construction manager Chris Stevenson with Ipswich City Council interim administrator Greg Chemello at the site of the new Ipswich CBD development site.
Hutchinson Builders national construction manager Chris Stevenson with Ipswich City Council interim administrator Greg Chemello at the site of the new Ipswich CBD development site. Cordell Richardson

How tradie scheme will help struggling CBD businesses

IPSWICH City Council has launched a promotion to persuade tradies to stream into struggling CBD businesses while the redevelopment is under way.

Workers started on the major part of the redevelopment yesterday, with about 200 onsite and close to 300 expected at peak times.

They will be offered a "tradies pack" and issued with a "VIP Card" to receive discounts from food and drink outlets.

About 20 CBD businesses have signed up.

Council CEO David Farmer said the concept was a "huge success" in Springfield Central while the Orion shopping centre was built.

"We're seeking to use that to drive some business in the short term during the construction period," he said.

"Deals could include a percentage off or a special price for a specific item for eligible customers.

"We're tying to connect the 200-300 who will be onsite every day who are looking for their lunch or a whole range of services to be able to access local businesses."

Interim administrator Greg Chemello said the council is working with CBD businesses to map out programs to help them flourish while construction work is under way.

"I'd also like to lead the newly elected councillors in March next year with a program of ideas they can take up and talk to the community and go forward with."

He said he hoped to announce a couple of programs in the next seven months.