BULAWAYO City Council has flighted tenders for the reopening of 80 closed shops and unoccupied factory shells in the city, including the hospitality lounge at Barbourfields Stadium, weeks after evicting some tenants in the western areas.
The tenders are only for people who have stayed in the city for a minimum of 15 years.
The local Council recently evicted scores of vendors that were illegally operating from its shops indicating that it planned to lease them after going through a tender process.
According to a notice, council is now seeking interested businesspeople to occupy the shops, including various unallocated industrial bays.
The closed shops are in Barbourfields (4), Luveve (3), Mzilikazi (2), Mpopoma (11), Pelandaba (3), Makokoba (11), Tshabalala (17), Njube (2), Iminyela (2) and Pumula (1).
Factory shells that were surrendered are in Kelvin North while kiosks are located in Barham Green, North End and Centenary Park.
The deadline for submission is July 23.
Twenty commercial bays and service industry bays are up for grabs in Luveve.
Based on the notice, council wants to revive two hospitality lounges, including the VIP lounge at Barbourfields Stadium and six kiosks within the stadium.
The hospitality sections are not fully operational.
Earlier this year, council revised annual shop licences downwards in a bid to cushion companies facing cashflow problems.
Companies which used to pay $450 for a 150 to 300 square metres shop now pay $300 while businesses that paid $100 for 20 square metres now pay $75.
Following the announcement of the 2014 council budget, there were complaints from the business community which felt that council was charging exorbitant fees for shops.
The current licence regime considers variations of shops above 500 square meters.
Businesses in Bulawayo have continued to struggle in the face of high water and electricity bills, while water and power cuts haunt operations on a daily basis.
The move by council is expected to attract more players into the private sector as companies will now afford licences despite the general liquidity crunch.