If you want to enjoy your favourite businesses after the lockdown, you need to support them during the lockdown.
That’s the thinking behind Canberra is Still Open, a website designed to connect Canberra residents with businesses that are still toiling away trying to survive COVID-19.
Cafes like Two Before Ten in Aranda have been hit hard by the closures and have had to strip back the hours of casual staff, but it has been the ongoing support from the community that has kept the small business afloat, owner Phil told Region Media.
“It has impacted us, but we have still been getting the same support we have been getting from the community since we opened which has been great,” Phil said.
“We have obviously seen a downturn in coffees and revenue, but people have been pretty happy to adapt and come in for takeaway. Even at the bar – we do takeaways out of there in the evenings and we still get people coming in.”
The café has adapted even further by turning the bar, which can’t serve sit-in customers anymore, into an essential supplies store for locals.
“We use our supplies from the café to supply locals with takeaway milk and bread, and even toilet paper from the bar area which is not being used these days. So people can now grab some essential supplies with a coffee and save themselves a trip,” Phil said.
Lucky for Phil, firefighters and ambulance staff run on caffeine and workers from the local ACT Fire and Rescue and ambulance stations have been supporting their local, and maintaining the community role of cafes.
“A big part of cafes and hospitality is staying connected to people, and while people are still coming to terms with staying at home, the psychological impacts are still not fully understood at the moment,” Phil said.
“Staying connected to the community is something we have already tried to do. As long as everyone is staying safe and following all the government and health department regulations, I think it is a good thing people are able to come out and grab a coffee and see other people who are in the same boat.”
Chief Minister Andrew Barr has also urged Canberrans to continue supporting their local economies amid the downturn.
“People have been asking me a lot about what they can do to support businesses in Canberra,” he said.
“If you would have otherwise gone out for dinner, take the opportunity to look at all the restaurants that are offering takeaway or home delivery. Buy something from a local business, that is how you can support our local community and keep people in jobs and the local economy ticking over.
“Supermarkets are not the only place you can get essential supplies. There are lots of local businesses doing a fantastic job at the moment at getting those essential supplies to households.”
For a full list of businesses that are still open in your area, or to register your business, visit www.cbrstillopen.com.