25.6 C
Byron Shire
December 3, 2021

Businesses are morphing with COVID-19

Latest News

On the ground work assists evicted women 

We know the region has some of the highest rents, and highest housing costs in Australia. We all know that this has virtually eliminated affordable housing. We hear the stories of women and children being evicted, of couch surfing and living in cars.

Other News

Issue dividing the community

This bitter division in the Northern Rivers community regarding trains on our tracks or the rail trail could’ve been...

World record-breaking sailor takes out SCU’s Alumnus of the Year Award

If you’re seeking a bit of inspiration in your life, look no further than Southern Cross University’s Alumnus of the Year, Lisa Blair.

Lismore Councillor candidate bios – Group A: Labor

The Echo asked all the Lismore election Councillor candidates to send in a bio. First cab off the rank was current Councillor Darlene Cook and Group A.

Bullshit detectors needed

Well well; we have a true Scepticarius in the mayoral race after all – a curmudgeonly and doggedly forensic...

Flood warning for Richmond and Wilsons Rivers

A deepening low pressure trough through the northeast of the state is expected to bring rain and thunderstorms during Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the State Emergency Service.

Entertainment in the Byron shire for the week beginning 1 December, 2021

All your entertainment news in one brilliant place

Many people are morphing their businesses – even photographers are doing it – the Tree Faerie is using isolation to work for rather than against her, on a new photographic project she has mounted on Facebook called COVIDcosy, where she visits people with the purpose of taking socially distanced photos. COVIDcosy in Myocum is Sandra, Jessica, Estelle, Jamie, Evan and Mikayla.

Eve Jeffery

Sectors of the north coast community who have really hit a financial wall owing to the COVID-19 pandemic are the food and entertainment industries and in particular restaurants and musicians.

Two local Ashes are making the best of the talents they have by morphing their business.

Ash Bell has stepped out of his singing and performing comfort zone to start teaching guitar online.

Singer/songwriter Ash Bell, most recently working with Sara Tindley, had his work come to a complete stop.

While Sara has her small family business, Singing Farmer Organics, to see her through, Bell’s ‘day job’ at a nursery stopped, owing to a lack of business.

What to do? When a friend prompted him to teach his skills online, Ash wasn’t sure.

‘It’s something I’d only half-thought about but never really took the leap, because I’m almost totally self-taught and I figured out most of the theory just from playing and listening – but it turns out to be a great model for teaching!’

Ash says he loves getting people into playing and songwriting.

‘I can get them going with all the stuff I wish I’d learned early on,’ he said. ‘Plus, I’m playing heaps of music, probably more than when I was doing gigs!’

With a background in teaching, Ash Grunwald has taken to the net to teach guitar, singing and mentoring for musicians. Ash will perform a ticketed event on Saturday, May 16. Photo Tree Faerie.

The virus in Spain fell partially on Ash’s tour

Another local muso, Ash Grunwald, was just on the first leg of a tour of Spain when he had to cut the trip short and come home.

This meant a big chunk of his yearly income was lost, and he couldn’t recoup a lot of the expenses he had already laid out for the tour. With his work, Ash usually doesn’t have much time for anything more than touring and recording, but he has also turned to teaching and performing online.

‘The way that I have morphed my business is that I have done everything I can to digitise it, and do things remotely,’ says Ash.

‘I’ve been offering private online live gigs and online live mentoring for musicians and those wanting to get into a certain headspace, and guitar lessons and vocal coaching.’

Ash says it’s a new experience for him ‘The learning curve has been really steep. It’s kind of a really weird enforced relaxed vibe, and it almost feels like “olden” times in some ways, but then I’m having to learn a whole new set of skills in the digital realm, so it’s everything at once.

Grunwald has also been giving a lot of free mini-concerts in recent weeks and will perform a full-length concert by donation on Saturday May 16.

‘It’s a lot to adjust to, but that’s the challenge at hand, so I am just doing what I can.’

Tough times for restaurant industry

Blue Bay Gourmet on a delivery run.

People whose business it is to cook and serve and supply food to eat in diners are really doing it tough.

Cressida and Pete Campbell food wholesalers at Blue Bay Gourmet say that with restaurants and cafes closing they have lost about 80% of their business. ‘It was dramatic,’ said Cressida. ‘Literally from one day to the next. Within a day we had to let go of most of our staff.’

Ms Campbell said their only choice was to rapidly put together a plan for an online delivery store appealing to retail customers. ‘Our warehouse was well stocked with about $500,000 worth of stock, a lot of it perishable. It took two weeks to get the online store ready.

Ms Campbell says so the response has been slow but it is building which is encouraging. ‘We are appealing to our customer base and our chefs inviting them to email and phone in orders, we will deliver and they can still pick up if they prefer.

‘When this is all over we can convert the online store to a wholesale site for our chefs and implement an app for ordering. If the retail actually takes off over the next month then we will have the choice to keep it going along side our main business – which will be quite exciting.

Chloe Hart – talented and hardworking chef by day, Your Gourmet delivery driver twice a week during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo Kate Holmes.

Weddings and events too risky

Leela Brett says it has been a whirlwind three weeks for her business Your Gourmet. She said right at the beginning of lockdown it was obvious that weddings and events would be too risky for quite some time. ‘Big events, which I specialise in, were the first to stop,’ she said. ‘I suspect that they will be the last to come back. So all the chefs, waiters, dishwashers and bartenders who come together over the weekend suddenly had no work.’

Ms Brett said she called my crew to get an idea of who was working, or had been fired, or if they had a partner still working. All of my staff are casual and have at least one other job, but many have been working for me for over 10 years and we have a strong bond.

‘It became clear that about five of my crew would be fine and could weather this pandemic storm for 5-6 months. The other five were going to be in dire straights with no income for food or rent. So I decided to turn the business around and offer something very different from gourmet luxury catering: home delivery meals.

‘I am making home cooked meals like lasagna, malai kofta and fish pie, but with the quality ingredients. I only cook what is on order, so all meals are cooked fresh, chilled then delivered the next day. Right now we are delivering twice a week but as more people order I hope to expand to four or five days a week.

A waiting list of staff

Ms Brett says she currently has two chefs working two to four days per week and has a waiting list of four staff as soon as they get enough orders.

‘We have also started delivering meals to families in need around the shire, from a list of nominees sent in from the community. We are delivering bags of around 10 meals to around four nominees per week so far and this week hope to deliver more.

‘Our new “baby” means we have had to spend a few thousand in investment in packaging, advertising and things like shopify – the last of our savings. its means long hours in the kitchen and at our computers (while homeschooling two kids).

‘It’s been hard. Hard physically and hard emotionally. But the fact that we are making something beautiful and healthy that the community wants, getting our crew back to work and bringing help to the families that are hurting the most makes it worthwhile. Time will tell if this is something we will do longterm but we are really proud of what we are doing now.’


Recent stories, information and updates regarding COVID-19

New COVID exposure site on the Gold Coast

Queensland Health says that a public health alert is being issued for contact tracing locations on the Gold Coast.

0

COVID update – Aquarius, Lismore sewage fragments and the South African...

The Northern NSW Local Health District says there have been no new cases of COVID-19 reported in the 24 hours to 8pm 28 November, but, they are urging residents in the Lismore area to be alert for COVID-19 symptoms.

0

COVID weekend summary: Aquarius and a new Tweed case

The Northern NSW Local Health District is encouraging residents and visitors to Byron Bay to get tested for COVID-19, after being notified of a number of confirmed cases in the area during the last week.

0

COVID update: a new Byron case, Aquarius and Community Support Accommodation

The Northern NSW Local Health District says there was one new case of COVID-19 was reported for NNSWLHD to 8pm, November 25. This case is located in the Byron Local Government Area, a traveller from outside the region and e is not associated with the Aquarius Backpackers.

1

When we get to 95 per cent vaccination, this will happen

Just when we were getting used to the current COVID roadmap, it has changed directions. Adjustments to previous settings scheduled for this milestone were announced yetserday.

1

What’s Nu in COVID variants? Highlighted need for stronger Australian contribution

According to the End COVID For All campaign the emergence of a new coronavirus variant in Botswana, most likely to be called 'Nu', underlines the need for Australia to step up its contribution to co-oridnated global efforts to prevent the virus’ spread and mutation.

1

Two new COVID cases on the Tweed

The Northern NSW Local Health District Northern NSW Local Health District have announced this afternoon that there were two new cases of COVID-19 reported for NNSWLHD to 8pm, November 21.

0

COVID fragments at Banora Point and Kingscliff and new venues of...

The Northern NSW Local Health District is urging residents in the Tweed Shire, particularly in the Banora Point and Kingscliff areas to be alert for COVID-19 symptoms following the detection of fragments of the virus in sewage samples.

0


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

What do the Tweed Council candidates stand for?

The final day of voting for your local Tweed Shire Councill candidates is Saturday 4 December at a venue near you.

Today is International Day of People with Disability

This language trend around People With a Disability has tended to emphasise the disability rather than the person, which can lead to derogatory labelling, depersonalisation or impersonal, collective references.

Master Mariner Bill Fenelon looks to the future of Tweed Shire

Bill Fenelon, who has called the Tweed Valley home since 2009, is heading up Group A and is running as an Independent with Carolyn...

Election week sees Vanessa Ekins doing her blocky

Enjoying a few precious minutes break in an election week is a real luxury and Lismore mayoral candidate and current Mayor Vanessa Ekins managed to fit an Echo interview in between her TAFE Auslan course and the pre-poll station on Woodlark Street.