City of Sydney invests in night-time economy

Cos-Dulcie’s-Entertainment,-Potts-Point-photo-by-Rudi-Towiro-City-of-SydneyAs businesses slowly reopen their doors, the City of Sydney is supporting restaurants, bars and venues to get back into gear. In its latest round of business support grants, the City has awarded 20 grants to night-time and live music businesses, worth a total of $222,334.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for Sydney’s night-time economy, which was only just beginning to breathe again after the lockout laws were lifted in January,” said Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

“Sydney’s core night-time economy is not only critical to our city’s future – generating more than $4.2 billion in revenue each year and employing more than 35,500 people across nearly 5,000 businesses – it is key to our vision for Sydney as a thriving global city.

“Businesses that operate at night were among the first and hardest hit by Covid-19 restrictions, with many hospitality workers and musicians not only losing employment, but also unable to access financial support from the Federal Government given many are casual or migrant workers.”

“As we cautiously ease physical distancing restrictions and return to the wonderful restaurants, bars and venues around our city, it is critical that we do everything we can to support these businesses to get back on their feet and enter the recovery phase.”

“We recently approved Covid-19 relief grants for 654 projects, worth a total of $8.85 million, which included 144 businesses operating at night. These grants announced today are on top of previously announced Covid-19 relief measures and are part of our long term investment in Sydney’s night time economy, supporting live music and performance venues to diversify or expand their programming and upgrade their equipment,” said the Lord Mayor.

Since September 2017, the City has approved more than $1.4 million in funding for over 80 grants to support local businesses through its night-time diversification and live music and performance grants.

These grants are helping businesses to upgrade their facilities and equipment, improve acoustics and minimise noise to surrounding properties or introduce live entertainment to their venues. For businesses looking to diversify, the grants are enabling them to trade later through creative programming and initiatives, attract new customers and create lively, safe and engaging city precincts after dark.

The latest round of live music and performance grants will help upgrade a range of venues including: The New Theatre, Newtown; Griffin Theatre Company, Darlinghurst; Venue 505, Newtown; Dulcie’s Entertainment, Potts Point; Cricketers Arms, Surry Hills; Golden Age Cinema and Bar, Surry Hills; Yulli’s Brews, Alexandria; Giant Dwarf Theatre, Surry Hills; Gaelic Club, Surry Hills; East Sydney Community and Arts Centre, Darlinghurst; and MoshPit, Erskineville.

The latest round of night-time diversification grants will support a wide range of new evening events across the city, including literary dinners hosted by authors, dance workshops, cooking classes, filmmaker storyteller sessions, playwriting events, live music, pattern making and sewing workshops, tea appreciation events and fermentation classes where you can learn how to make breads, beers and wine, pickles and meat.

Sydney’s core night-time economy is critical to our city’s future – it generates more than $4.2 billion in revenue each year, with just under 5,000 businesses employing more than 35,500 people. In the past eight years the City has spoken to tens of thousands of residents, workers, businesses and visitors about what they want to see in their city at night, and what kind of creative and cultural life they want for Sydney.

“People have told us they want to live in a city with a diverse and exciting nightlife with events and activities for people of all ages and interests,” said the Lord Mayor. “Evidence shows that a diverse and thriving night-time economy creates new jobs, attracts and retains a talented workforce, boosts tourism, increases community resilience, improves safety and reduces crime.”

In addition to the night-time economy grants, a further 12 businesses representing 26 projects have been supported with grants worth a total of $350,000 through the City’s business support grants – place and industry program. Grants were awarded to not-for-profit, members-based organisations for projects that promote local economies, help increase footfall and spending in local retail precincts and improve access to industry information, upskilling and networking.

This includes $25,000 for the Haymarket Chamber of Commerce for a series of events featuring local performers, DJs and live music in Chinatown, and $24,000 for the Night Time Industries Association Incorporated for six events to increase the knowledge, skills and networks of existing or future night time businesses. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Dulcie’s Entertainment, Potts Point – photo by Rudi Towiro / City of Sydney