TOURISM is one of the Port’s major employers and at present the industry is taking a critical hit.
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Leah Anderson President of the Tomaree Business Chamber told News Of The Area, “As Chamber President I have been in contact with the Hunter Business Chamber where I have discussed the impacts that both the bushfires and Coronavirus have had on Tourism.
“The flow on effect for local businesses, for example local shops, restaurants and attractions who rely heavily on our tourism trade for their business.
Leah will be participating in a Hunter Business Chamber forum which is bringing together the Chamber presidents from affected areas to discuss the effects and to workshop ideas to support local business.”
It falls to all of us across Australia to support business and in particular local business.
“Shop Local has never been more important than now.
“I encourage all residents to think about our small businesses right across Port Stephens during this time, and if they can buy a product from a local store, or go for lunch or dinner at a local restaurant or cafe, take the family and do a local activity from our tourism operators, this will all go a long way towards supporting our local businesses,” she said.
Newly appointed Manager Jo Minett is working on building the business of The Point Restaurant, Jo has had a huge following at Rocksalt Restaurant for many years.
The restaurant is sourcing locally with the oysters they serve coming from leases visible from the restaurant.
There’s a new focus on casual bar dining in the venue as well.
Businesses locally have been hurting, especially those who service inbound tourists from China like Murray’s Brewery and Moonshadow TQC.
Businesses are hoping to counter the impact of the Coronavirus through encouraging shopping and staying locally.
To encourage us to enjoy what is on offer locally tourism businesses like Murray’s Brewery are hosting events with the first Cocktail Carnivale being held on the last weekend of February.
With free entertainment and fun hermit crab races for the kids.
“Most people know us for our experimental beers, but we’ve recently begun experimenting with craft spirits too – and we’re loving it! So much so that we’ve created a new festival around cocktails to send off summer,” said brewery owner, Murray Howe.
“We figure partnering cocktails with live music will create the perfect atmosphere for some chill out time with friends and family. And even if cocktails are not your thing, there’s so much going on at Murray’s you’re still bound to have a great time anyway.”
Mick Jones will be performing on 29 February and Matt McLaren on 1 March at Murray’s Brewery.
By Marian SAMPSON