• Nicole La Ruffa

How Small Businesses Are Adjusting to the COVID Norm, And How Exactly We Can Help

Updated: Sep 9

Let’s first start off with a massive middle finger to the pandemic that swept the globe and turned 2020 into the final season of How I Met Your Mother – an utter disappointment.


Among the list of things that COVID has torn anew, it’s fair to say that small businesses have suffered one of the biggest blows (also cc: our dating lives). Restaurants that once came alive on a pre-COVID Saturday night now had to rework their business models to include the likes of socially distanced pick-ups and home deliveries.


Thankfully, in a time of isolated crumminess, many of these small businesses have shown compassion, resilience and positive innovation, coming up with new ways to connect with their customers. Whether it be a small tweak or a complete 180, if there’s one shiny takeaway we can adopt from these superstar businesses, it’s that adaptability is real heckin’ important.


So, in the spirit of learning, here are what some of your local businesses are doing to stay ahead of the game, and how we can show them some love in return.


Pokéd

Little Lonsdale, Melbourne

Image via @pokedau


Giving a new meaning to the term ‘wholesome delivery’, this popular Hawaiian eatery launched its #FeedOurHeroes initiative back in April, providing free delicious goods to healthcare workers across Victoria. Those looking to surprise a dedicated team of heroes can nominate their hospital of choice by tagging @pokedau on Instagram. If you’re keen to donate to the cause – which covers the staff’s well-earned wages and ingredient costs – you can send your dollars through via the team’s GoFundMe page.


The salad bar has also introduced its Poké Mart venture, teaming up with local suppliers to deliver fresh food to those within Melbourne’s now very empty CBD (NSW, you’re next on the agenda).


Along with all essential grocery items, you can also grab one of the joint’s specially curated Care Packages, which offers a mix of fresh ingredients, sauces and super handy recipe cards. There’s even a free Gameology board game included in the pack to combat your iso boredom.


Jane Doe Bar

Prahan, Melbourne

Image via @janedoebar


While bars remain shut across a good chunk of the country, Chapel Street’s native Jane Doe Bar is busy serving boozy cocktails straight to our doors. The bar-turned-temporary-cocktail-takeway has been delivering its signature menu items Australia-wide, offering free shipping for any orders over $80.


If you’re in need of a good drink, you can cop a pre-mixed bottle of your favourite cocktail – from a raspberry mule to the decadent orange blossom and rhubarb negroni – and recreate your own chaotic bar scene at home (maybe without the bathroom crying).


Peachay The Label

Sydney

Image via peachay.com


Closing the waist gap one jean at a time, Peachay The Label creates dreamy denim for peachy behinds that typically hover in between sizes.


Bella – the creative brain behind this Sydney-based brand – has spent the last few months cultivating a friendly community of faithful shoppers, organising event meet-ups and even sending flowers each month to customers at random as a thank-you for their support.


While its production in Melbourne stands at a halt, Peachay The Label continues to spread messages of hope and kindness, showcasing each camera-friendly Peachay recipient on the brand’s peach-hued Insta grid.


The one-of-a-kind relationship that Bella has sustained with her Peachay Fam will likely spark the return of many peachay keen customers.


Handmade Canberra Market

Canberra

Image via Blackwattle Yarn and Fibre


If the word ‘virtual’ hasn’t yet entered your business vocab in 2020, it’s high time you jump on board the online interactive train. Canberra’s bustling Homemade Market – which typically attracts close-knit crowds of 15,000 – has found a temporary home on the web, launching an online market directory which lists every handmade designer involved.


Shoppers looking for unique Australian-made goods are invited to browse the directory for a full run-down of each local stallholder, with every handcrafted item made available for purchase on the scheduled market dates.


Mark September 26th in your calendars to peruse the next virtual Handmade Canberra Market, and support some of your favourite homegrown creatives.




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