Within hours of the announcements of social distancing, which saw the potential closure of local cafes, restaurants and public spaces, the community was out supporting local business.
Industry bodies and community members stood up and created Facebook campaigns supporting local business and industry.
Council’s strategic partner, Capricorn Enterprise, set up the Support Local Buy Local campaign which has over 5,500 members and the hero of the show would have to be the community driven Yeppoon Takeaways and Deliveries which has nearly 4,000 members.
Mayor Andy Ireland said he was impressed but not surprised at the resilient response of the community and businesses working together and putting solutions in place to manage through uncertainty.
“Our region embodies the definition of resilience. Time and time again we have all been part of the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. In fact, all of the localities in the shire have character of substance and the ability to recognise when we all need to work as one,” Mayor Ireland said.
Hash tags have been springing up across the region promoting and supporting response and resilience efforts. Businesses have been introducing more fun than usual by engaging customers in competitions as well as business-to-business referrals stimulating patronage locally.
Professor John Rolfe states in his recent publication, The varying impacts of COVID-19 across Queensland Regions, Central Queensland University / Rural Centre of Economic Excellence, “It is important to realise that slowdown is not a shutdown”.
Speaking with the community, many are concerned for the sustainability of our Main Street businesses and hospitality and tourism businesses, whether it’s the main street of Marlborough, Emu Park or Yeppoon, the sentiment is the same. To support local businesses, in particular our town centres, Council is offering a programme to help businesses pivot by providing access to a range of digital, social media and strategy transformation services provided by local specialists.
“A suite of different services is on offer to ensure each business can source a tailored solution to suit their individual needs. The main focus is on innovation and increasing online presence to continue to trade and thrive in these difficult circumstances,” Mayor Ireland said.
Eligibility and priority for the Council programme will be determined from the information contained on each application, on a case-by-case basis. Final decision is at the discretion of Council. Applications close at 5pm Friday, 1 May 2020.
For more information about the programme please visit Council’s Get Involved Covid-19 Information for Business page, “LSC Small Business Support Subsidy-Covid-19” article via https://getinvolved.livingstone.qld.gov.au/ or contact Council’s Customer Support Team on 4913 5000.