A NSW Government website

Why isn’t the Accelerator open to all of NSW?

Arts, culture, entertainment and hospitality businesses in Greater Sydney have been some of the most impacted by COVID-19 and lockdowns, and so the first round of the Accelerator will focus on supporting and revitalising them.

Future rounds of Uptown may include eligibility for other regions.

Why can’t councils apply to be part of the Team? 

The Accelerator is designed to support the recovery and growth of businesses, including upskilling, and building capabilities within organisations to ensure greater resiliency and longevity.  

What can councils do to champion Uptown?

There are a number of ways councils can champion and promote the Uptown Accelerator, including: 

  • Support identification of suitable districts 
  • Share the opportunity with appropriate businesses and/or business groups  
  • Connect individual businesses and business groups together 
  • Provide guidance to Teams for their application 
  • Make available a key contact point within council 

What are the benefits to council?

Many councils have acknowledged that collaboration between businesses would make the biggest difference to achieving a successful 24-hour economy in their area.

Uptown aims to do this and will bring a number of other benefits to your local council area, such as: 

  • Cultivating a strong and engaged business community 
  • Supporting recovery of businesses with foot traffic, customer awareness and long-term resilience 
  • Creating new marketing and attraction opportunities for your local area 
  • ‘De-risking’ grants as funding (such as through the Uptown Grant Program) is given to a consortium of businesses/entities rather than a single businesses. 

As an established district or business chamber, how should we complete the application?

Applications need to be submitted by a Team comprising three or more members from different organisations. Each Team application must therefore include at least three different ABNs.

A member of your Team may apply using the ABN of a district entity or business chamber. At least two other Team members should indicate what organisation they represent with a different ABN.

How large should the district be?

For the purposes of Uptown, going out districts are defined as distinct geographical areas such as high streets or blocks of streets (e.g. rather than an entire suburb). Applicants are free to determine the exact area they propose to cover in their district formation efforts, and these boundaries may even change during the program itself after refinement of the Team’s vision.

Is there a limit on Team members for the program?

In theory, there is no limit to how large a Team can be. The more collaborators, the better.

For the practical purpose of Uptown, it was worth noting there are attendance expectations which are detailed in the Guidelines (page 5) - all Team members must participate in the opening visioning workshop in person, and at least two Team members must attend all other sessions.

Will there be only one Team per eligible location?

We encourage as many businesses in a local area to engage with each other and apply as a Team. However, an application won’t be deemed ineligible just because another Team from the same area has applied separately - we’ll help to facilitate the combining of those applications if it makes sense to do so.

As indicated in the Guidelines (p.9): ‘By submitting an application, the lead applicant agrees to be contacted by the Office of the 24-Hour Economy Commissioner about their application, including the potential for additional members to join the Team.

If the geographical boundaries of the district proposed in your application overlaps with another application, the Office of the 24-Hour Economy Commissioner will contact the lead applicant in those applications to assist the Teams to combine if appropriate.’

How many spots are available?

The Accelerator’s capacity can be increased to host as many quality Teams that apply. This is the first iteration of Uptown and depending on the level of interest received there will be future rounds of the program which may also be extended to other regions.

We will also endeavour to make program resources publicly available where possible.

Will potential investors at Pitch Night take equity in the district?

Pitch Night is an opportunity to present your district at scale to a diverse audience of organisations (such as major brands, tourism promotion agencies, festivals, conferences etc.) that may be interested in sponsoring or partnering with your district to attract visitation.

How your district engages with partners or sponsors is entirely up to your team. Pitch Night is ultimately an opportunity connect.

How can organisations that aren’t geographically bound get involved?

Even if your organisation is not located in a particular district, you can still join a district Team. Collaboration is not limited to geography but you may need to consider whether your vision aligns and what you can contribute to the Team.

Can existing districts apply?

 Yes, Uptown can still help existing districts to expand and further build their capacity and connections. There is always more to do.

What’s the best way of engaging with other businesses?

 You can engage with other businesses by attending networking events such as our Uptown Information Sessions, doorknocking businesses in your area, and phoning them to get involved.

If you would like to share your details with potential collaborators, contact us at [email protected].

Do we Stage 1 participants automatically progress to Stage 2?

Teams who successfully participate in the Accelerator will be well placed to apply for funding under Stage 2.

The program guidelines with further details on Stage 2 will be published in the coming months.

How much funding will be available to teams under Stage 2?

The amount of funding available will be published in the Stage 2 program guidelines.

Why have applications reopened until Monday 5 September? And what exactly changed in the Admission Guidelines?

Due to overwhelming interest in the program and to be more inclusive of different business types, applications have reopened until Monday 5 September. 

Page 6 of the Admission Guidelines was amended to remove the list of entity types to allow for different business structures to apply so long as they have an ABN registered in NSW.

If I want to amend my existing application, do I need to start from scratch?

If you would like to make minor amendments to an existing application, please email us at [email protected] before the new deadline (11.59pm AEST Monday 5 September 2022) and we will amend the application on your behalf. Minor amendments may include correcting typos, updating contact details, and adding new members to your existing Team. You must provide all mandatory information required by the application form for the amendment to be made.

For major amendments, such as deleting a Team member or changing the Lead applicant, you will need to submit a new application for consideration.