Business Victoria | 10 November 2020
Since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic reached Australia, our small businesses have carried a large burden. Now as Victorian businesses start to reopen, there are many ways we can support them on the road to recovery.
So channel some love back into your local shops, venues and services by ticking off as many of the suggestions on this list as you can.
We probably don’t have to tell you that cafes, restaurants, bars and clubs have been some of the hardest hit by coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions. It’s a testament to the industry that so many businesses have adapted their operations so well this year.
With many venues reopening after a long hiatus, you might find it tricky to get a booking at your favourite local café or restaurant. Demand is always going to be higher on weekends and during certain times of day, so try to be flexible and go in off-peak times.
If you can’t keep your booking, call the venue and let them know you’re cancelling – there might be someone on a waitlist ready to take your spot. But where possible, try to keep your booking.
And remember, even if they don’t have the space to serve you on premises, many places are still offering takeaway. Which leads us to our next point.
Finally! 2020 allowed us to feel good about getting food delivered.
Melburnians who might still be spending time at home to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) can check the live list of takeaway restaurants on Broadsheet or Still Serving for restaurants offering takeaway and delivery. Businesses can also register on Still Serving here.
Plus, there are some other options to make you feel good about delivery:
If you’re not in Melbourne, you can search for a takeaway and delivery Facebook groups in your area for the latest information, such as this one for the Surf Coast or this one for the Mornington Peninsula
If you’re opting for takeaway it’s no longer limited to the same few options many of us grew up with, so there’s no reason not to make dinner at home as special as it is in restaurants:
Tipping is also a great way to show your appreciation if you’re able to.
Dress up or down and make an event of it. Go on. Treat yourself.
While you’re at it, increase buying from your local grocer, deli, bakery, butcher or fishmonger where you can.
Here are some businesses that offer grocery delivery in Melbourne:
Or if you’d prefer everything delivered in one go, Melbourne’s own YourGrocer can pick everything up from your local markets and independent stores and deliver them straight to your door. Buy local, and buy sustainable produce.
Thanks to online shopping and click and collect options, some retail stores were able to continue operating through lockdown – though heavily restricted. But with the loss of foot traffic, their businesses have been impacted.
If you’re looking for a welcome distraction, escape with a good book from one of these Melbourne bookshops are delivering to locals.
And if you want to add some beauty to your home, check these out:
Here are some other ways you can help local stores get back to business and stay there:
Face masks – it’s not a trend we asked for or even expected, but it’s the trend we’ve learned to embrace.
Now that face masks are mandatory when leaving the home, unless a medical condition prohibits you from wearing one, why not shop local and support a small business by buying one that you can reuse?
If you want to feel extra good, SisterWorks, Second Stitch and the Social Studio are three local social enterprises who have added face masks to their range. Your money will help these not-for-profits empower refugees, migrants and asylum seekers.
Vouchers and gift cards are a great way to offer immediate support to small businesses even if you can’t get there right away. This is especially helpful for beauty and wellness services and places that rely on tourism or large gatherings like hotels and live music venues, like those in regional Victoria.
Consider buying a voucher or gift card for somewhere in regional Victoria to spend later. Many regional towns that count on tourism have been particularly affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.
Not everyone can go on an online shopping rampage right now or spend big at the pub. If you need to hold back in the months ahead, there are still ways you can help without spending your cash:
A good online review and word of mouth can go a long way to brighten someone’s day.
As you start to get back out there, remember these businesses are under a huge amount of pressure and have had to change the way they operate several times this year. Many have new staff and might be a little rusty while they adapt to a COVIDSafe working environment.
Try to be forgiving if things aren’t quite right or take a bit longer to arrive. Or if a product doesn’t meet expectations, consider an exchange voucher that you can redeem later.
Finally, the easiest thing that you can do to help is to follow the COVIDSafe guidelines and play your part so businesses can remain open until we reach COVID Normal.
Wear a mask, practise hand hygiene, keep your distance from others, stay home if you have symptoms, and above all, get tested if you have symptoms and stay safe.