Gloucester businesses work to mitigate financial disaster during the COVID-19 crisis

From noon on Monday, March 23, cafes and restaurants were told to temporarily shut down table service and provide takeaway only. Photo Anne Keen
From noon on Monday, March 23, cafes and restaurants were told to temporarily shut down table service and provide takeaway only. Photo Anne Keen

For Gloucester businesses, it's been hard to pick what each day of trade is going to bring.

After slowing starting to recover from the worse drought on record and the impact the bushfires had on the peak tourism season, businesses in Gloucester are now navigating a new crisis.

COVID-19 has had a global impact and it's clear Australia won't come out if this pandemic unscathed.

From noon on Monday, March 23, the NSW Government announced mandatory closures of some non-essential activities and businesses, which include pubs, clubs, gyms, indoor sporting venues, cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos and night clubs, while cafes and restaurants are restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery.

The decision has been met with a mixed reaction from the community, with some desperately wanting to support the local businesses while others believe everything should be closed.

But for now, the approach on Church Street is to take one day at a time.

Last week the town was busy with people seen patronising the cafes and meandering in and out of the shops, and according to some businesses, the weekend also saw a good trade. Even come Monday morning with the new changes, people were still lining up for their morning coffee and sausage roll.

The changes were a lot for the businesses to get their heads around, especially the pubs, who aren't set up for takeaway but desperately want to try a way to keep their staff employed and their business afloat.

The Roundabout Inn and Avon Valley Inn were meeting with their staff to try to work out how they were going to proceed. Both establishments are looking to provide takeaway sales of food and alcohol, with plans for trying to offer home delivery. It is a similar story in the cafes, as they try to keep their businesses functioning and providing a service to the community.

As of Monday, retail outlets were not included in the shut down and the general consensus throughout town was to stay open until they are told to close. So for the community, feel free to contact the businesses to see what they have on offer as we all try to help our town survive this difficult time.