Business owners along Oxford Street’s Golden Mile have joined forces to help guide the strip to a prosperous future.

Encouraged by the Oxford Street Gateways project -“ which will see the City of Sydney invest millions into the street’s beautification -“ business owners plan to make the strip a premier dining and shopping destination.

Director Tony Melhem from Gloria Jeans Coffee said the Darlinghurst Business Partnership would act as an advocate for business owners and promote business in the area.

We believe in Lord Mayor Clover Moore’s vision of creating and promoting inner-city villages that have their own character and creative cultures, Melhem said.

We want to promote Darlinghurst as a very unique and vibrant village. We will focus on its gay heritage, its brash and racy character, its 24-hour entertainment, its quirky retail outlets, the funky shopkeepers and hip staff.

We have the best village in Australia, he said.

People can cruise Oxford Street at any time of the day or night and feed their fetish. It really is the only spot in Australia where you can fit 48 hours into one day.

The Partnership’s early ideas include Taylor Square street markets, an information booth, year-round fairy lighting and a Christmas tree in Taylor Square.

We will ensure the voice of local business members is heard by local, state and federal governments, Melhem said.

Businesses have met with officers from the City of Sydney and Tourism Sydney to discuss the future of the areas. Although concerned about the possible disruption to businesses from the Oxford Street upgrade, they have committed to working with council during the construction stages.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore has endorsed the Partnership.

Partnership directors are Phil Wharton from Eurostar Dry Cleaners, Aussie Boys’ Ken Holmes, Robert Tait from the Pop Shop and Tony Melhem.

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