Last week I talked about how we are all in this together. This week I want to repeat that but with a different twist.
If we are all in this together, then we need to work together to get out of it. But what is ‘it’?
It is looking more and more like we are getting this virus under control, the community data needs a bit more work, but results to date are encouraging. So what happens then?
The hardest hit by level 4, and even level 3 lockdown, are our small and medium sized businesses. Some of them have been well established, their owners have worked hard for years to build their businesses, and some will be brand new and very vulnerable. Some won’t survive almost 7 weeks with no income, and some will emerge into the post-covid world severely damaged. Whilst many will have taken up the Government’s wage-subsidy to help out their staff, they still have all the expenses like rent, rates, insurance etc to pay. Some will have orders cancelled because of non-delivery, a change in circumstances, or the changing times. Some will have stock that has perished and/or out of date that still has to be paid for. My heart went out to a reasonably new florist in town who put her flowers and greenery out on the pavement at bargain prices on ‘Lockdown Wednesday’, no profit there!
They are not big corporates. They are our neighbours, our friends, our Rotary, Quota, BPW and Lions members, our school Trustees, our Sports Club Committee members. They sponsor our local events, they advertise in our local papers and on our local radio stations which ensures we get local news and information. They create jobs for us and our children, and they create work for our service industries. They pay rates to help our Council build and maintain infrastructure like roads, water and sewerage, and keep parks and community amenities available for us to use. They make our community a great place to live and work and raise a family.
What happens if they are gone!
So as we move into Level 3 and we use ‘on-line’ shopping or ‘click and collect’ to buy all the things we’ve missed during Level 4, let’s truly be in this together and support our local businesses.
Many of them won’t already have an online presence and may be unable to afford to get a website set up immediately, so I presume ‘click and collect’ means we can also use the old fashioned Yellow Pages and phone through an order to collect personally in a safe manner – let’s do that!
It might take a little longer, and more effort, but it will be worth it. We are all in this together, so let us make that true.