Small business owners have become an essential part of the Liberty Promenade Shopping Centre in Mitchells Plain; the centre has provided trading space dedicated to entrepreneurs who have previously traded informally. A total of 16 fledgling businesses now have access to a wider market through their presence in the Western Cape’s second largest shopping centre.
Said Thea Marx, General Manager: Liberty Properties Coastal Region: “The Liberty Promenade Shopping Centre accommodates a Mini Mall section within the centre which acts as a threshold for small businesses to trade in a formal environment, allowing them access to a large shopper base and thereby increase their trading muscle. It is an opportunity to grow their businesses and create further employment opportunities within the immediate community. All businesses operating in the mini mall are owned and run by people from the surrounding community, thereby contributing to the local economy.”
“Since opening its doors to the public 8 years ago, the centre has expanded by an additional 32000m², which has allowed for more small businesses to be integrated into the mall.” The small businesses operating in the Liberty Promenade have seen an increase in business since the improvements made to the centre and the Mini Mall. The recently upgraded mini mall, located in the centre, has been centralised for easy access.
“My business has definitely grown since I joined the Liberty Promenade, we started as a tenant in the Mini Mall and we have recently taken occupation of a new larger store in the main shopping centre area. I’m now servicing a wider clientele. My business is now on a growth path, my next objective is to expand into other retail centers,” said Mareldia Mohamad, owner of BITZ of BLING.
Many of the Mini Mall store owners come from humble beginnings. Nazma Adams, owner of Hi Sweety – a party accessories business – started her business in her home and has now been a tenant in the Promenade for the last 3 years. “Being in Liberty Promenade has increased the community’s awareness of my store, which has lead to more business for me,” Adams said.
The Liberty Promenade is nearing completion of its R400 million revamp and expansion project; the total floor space of the mall has now increased to 74 000m². In addition to the improvements to the Mini Mall area, the project has bought a new food court and entertainment area to the centre, which opened in November 2010, as well as a rejuvenation of the interior mall décor. The project has also allowed for an upgrade of the security facilities in and around the mall.