Thousands of workers on the West Gate Tunnel Project have contributed to a thriving business hub in the west, with an influx to local cafes, bars and other businesses. Thanks to an initiative created by the West Gate Tunnel Project, the Workforce Trader Directory, businesses from Docklands to Laverton have been given the opportunity to directly advertise for free to the thousands of workers on the West Gate Tunnel Project.
Not only does the directory provide businesses with free advertising, it also encourages people working on the project to shop local and support the neighbourhood in which they work.
Launched just over a year ago, the number of listings has already grown to over 260, with each business eager to make the most out of the huge opportunity to capitalise on the massive workforce that is on their doorstep for the next three years.
Rocco’s Delicatessen, an Italian deli in Yarraville, is just one of the businesses that has benefitted from the initiative, with owner Louise McQueen noticing a significant increase in his customer base.
“Since West Gate Tunnel works have been underway, we’ve had to take on eight additional staff members to cater for the increased demand. Aside from the regular lunch rush, we’ve also noticed project workers bringing their families in on the weekends. It’s great!” she says.
“It’s humbling that such a massive project like the West Gate Tunnel has approached us and other small businesses in the area to get on board with such a rare opportunity.”
Meg Walker, Business Engagement Manager for the West Gate Tunnel Project, says the directory is a two-way benefit for both the project and local businesses.
“We’re not only helping businesses by giving them a channel to directly advertise to our workforce, but we’re also connecting our workforce with what’s in their community. It’s a real win-win,” she says.
“Ninety-eight per cent of the directory listings are small businesses. It’s great to be able to give them such a unique opportunity to promote the great products they have to offer.”
People can also sign up for a regular newsletter to find out all the latest promotions and deals. Additionally, the directory is displayed throughout the project’s worksites to maximise exposure. The number of jobs created on the West Gate Tunnel Project is set to peak at 6,000, and the free advertising helps local businesses tap into a market bigger than some Victorian country towns.