How local businesses have bounced back from COVID.
How local businesses are bouncing back from Covid.
Our Local Alexandrina
Just like everywhere else, it’s been a long few months for businesses on the Fleurieu. From the moment there was an active push to keep would be travellers out of the regions, local businesses knew there were tough times ahead. Whilst the government support package was great for keeping employees working, businesses still needed to get creative to keep the doors open. Many turned to focus on online sales, food delivery apps and even delivering food themselves, whilst many relied on their heavily loyal, local customer base to keep supporting them.
Upon registering for Our Local Alexandrina, we asked businesses what challenges they faced, and how they were looking to the future to kick things into gear now (touch wood), the worst of Covid is behind South Australian businesses. Speaking with Mel from Peninsula Providore, it was clear the flow on effect from the closure of hospitality businesses had a huge impact on the entire local business community, however getting creative with the farm was a way to keep going.
“We provide Extra Virgin Olive Oil to a lot of local hospitality venues, cafes and restaurants which were all forced to close down, retail stores also lacked visitation and were forced to close. As such, our sales dropped around 27%. We have created a pop-up shop at the farm to try and capitalise on the number of people visiting the region looking for things to do. With restricted numbers able to eat out, we provide another activity visitors and locals can participate in whilst in the region. We have also been pushing our online sales, and social media presence.”
With such a great and diverse offering, Vineyard Road Cellar Door turned to focus on online sales of all their local Wine, Confectionary and Skincare products.
“We closed temporarily, moved our focus to online sales and phone orders. We reopened for takeaway sales and deliveries only and reduced operation hours. We have now resumed wine tastings but under limited capacity and we adehere to strict rules and regulations to ens
ure both staff and customer safety. The visitors are slowly returning which is great!”
Jake from Hammer ‘N’ Tongs in Strathalbyn also voiced challenges, but says the business is taking them head on.
“As a new business, our plans to open were delayed and due to the size of our business, restrictions to seating have impacted us greatly. We had also lost quite a number of staff due to not being able to provide them with work. We tackled Covid-19 head on, implementing all sanitary restrictions and providing our customers with a full takeaway menu and trying to accommodate as many people as restrictions allow”
Jake mentioned that by focussing on fast service, they are able to turn over more customers whilst also providing a great experience. Hammer ‘N” Tongs are hanging out for a new parklet which will be able to seat more customers outside, aligning more with the Covid restrictions.
Multiple and diverse businesses such as Rose Herbs & Honey, The Pickle Pot, Kimbolton Wines and The Good Food Co. turned to focus on their online sales with great success, showing again that loyal customers were willing to show support when it mattered most. More and more businesses are transitioning online, again highlighting the importance of having an online presence to reach and engage with customers.
With restrictions now easing in South Australia, it would appear there is a great opportunity for local businesses to bounce back from the last few months of downturn, and look towards a more positive next few months. Our Local Alexandrina is a platform that has been created to showcase the amazing produce, products and venues the Alexandrina area has to offer, by providing an easy to browse interface with direct links to the businesses own website or social media. Now supporting local Alexandrina businesses is easier and more exciting than ever.