Myall Coast businesses struggle through ever-changing COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns

Jenny Po and her husband had to say goodbye to their business of 25 years. Photo: Peter Stoop.

 

LOCAL businesses have been hit by the flow-on-effects of COVID-19 pandemic and are struggling to bounce back.

It’s no secret that COVID restrictions have impacted businesses, from QR Codes to COVID-safe plans, limited customers, lockdowns and uncertainty, local businesses have struggled to stay afloat, particularly in the Myall Coast region where many rely on tourist support.

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Jenny Po is the manager of The Garden Eatery in Tea Gardens and throughout the lockdowns and pandemic last year, Jenny and her husband had to say goodbye to their business of 25 years – Billabong’s Restaurant.

“We tried very hard to make changes to adapt to COVID after the lockdown last year; new changes meant losing customers.

“Six months into reopening after the lockdown, we learnt it was just too challenging to continue to run our business on such a large scale because the ‘normality’ we were all hoping for was not returning anytime soon.

“It was extremely sad and hard for us at the time, as we had to let go of all of our team, and say goodbye to our local community whom we had such a strong connection with over the years,” Jenny said.

Other businesses are working towards maintaining the local industry in any way they can.

The Providence Deli, a Tea Gardens home based grazing and catering company, started trading last lockdown, with the idea of sourcing local as much as possible.

After a tough first year, they were looking forward to catering for many large weddings and parties booked in, but the newest restrictions and lockdowns meant that these events were cancelled or postponed.

“This forced me to re adjust my business from catering from big group gatherings to more home-made pre prepared meals and small sized boxes.

“I’ve had an influx of orders from loved ones from out of town sending boxes as a gift to our locals and I’m very lucky to be able to get that support and still be able to stay in business but there are so many of our local businesses that have taken such a hard hit and are in real need of local support and they need it now more than ever,” Caitlin from the Providence Deli told News Of The Area.

In these tough times it’s important to support locals wherever you can as chain restaurants and stores will survive through the lockdowns, but local businesses may not and this could mean losing the heart of what makes our communities special.

 

By Tara CAMPBELL

 

The Providence Deli is supporting locals through these tough times.

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