21/05/2008 - 22:00

PPP initiative could pay off for arts

21/05/2008 - 22:00

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A new private-public partnership initiative launched last week that pools financial assistance from the state government and the private sector could inject $600,000 into Western Australia’s arts industry in three years, though the spin-off benefits could

PPP initiative could pay off for arts

A new private-public partnership initiative launched last week that pools financial assistance from the state government and the private sector could inject $600,000 into Western Australia's arts industry in three years, though the spin-off benefits could be much more significant.

Corporate networking, boosting brand profile and direct marketing opportunities are some of the key intangible benefits small-to-medium enterprises could derive from supporting WA's arts community, according to the Australia Business Arts Foundation state manager, Henry Boston.

Construction giant Mirvac WA has joined the partnership and will donate up to $150,000 over three years through the Premier's Arts Partnership Fund, through which the WA government has also committed $50,000 each year over three years.

The fund will match a third party business partner's cash contribution dollar for dollar, up to $10,000 per year for as many as three years.

Mr Boston said the initiative was set to act as a catalyst for the creation of new business partnerships with arts organisations, an area SMEs had been absent from in the past.

"The purpose behind it is to offer an incentive to double the buying power from these small businesses, to give them more bang for their buck," he told WA Business News.

"What we're trying to do is penetrate another layer of corporate sponsorships, not the large corporations but those with fewer than 200 employees, to engage the arts.

"This is a way of helping SMEs get their feet wet, because what you'll find is quite often the reason many have not done anything like this in the past is that they've never really been asked.

They certainly haven't explored it themselves.

"SMEs generally work very hard and at this time they are beginning to make some money, but prior to three or four years ago people weren't going to spend money on things they didn't see critical to their core business." Mirvac WA chief executive officer Evan Campbell said the company's philosophy extended beyond just building physical structures.

"The reason why we're doing it is to create a sense of belonging in the community," Mr Campbell said.

"You can't just go and develop a community and expect the community to be successful and get together.

We believe you need to put on events that actually create that interaction and create that sense of belonging." Mr Boston said drivers for SMEs to donate money through the fund also included cross-promotional opportunities, brand profiling and alignment, and morale boosting.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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