Get around our local businesses now

Gawler Sweets manager Mario Caruana is urging people to support local businesses now and over the Christmas period. PHOTO: Jack Hudson

Jack Hudson

LOCAL businesses and the Gawler Business Development Group are pushing for residents to get around our businesses now and across the Christmas break after a nightmare year.

The COVID-19 pandemic hit local businesses once again last week with the brief three-day shut down, but business owners, including Gawler Sweets manager Mario Caruana, have said they feel supported by locals.

“It affected (the lockdown) us a fair bit, but we’ve had good support from the town,” he said.

“We’ve got our heads up at the moment, but can only say we hope Christmas trade is better and is a big one.

“It’s the biggest kick we need supporting small businesses.

“We hope the weather will be good and hope we can put the COVID-19 behind us a little bit.

“The Gawler community has been really good, everyone knows the town, and people come because of the history.

“It’s close to the city, it’s close to the Barossa, and the locals have been supporting us in a big way.

“Our shop lives on tourism, and people from Victoria and interstate.

“We found people have spent a bit more and say they support local businesses.”

GBDG executive officer Caren Brougham said the group immediately started providing information to businesses about what the lockdown meant for them.

“The minute the new lockdown was announced, GBDG began sharing all information provided from SA Health, SAPOL and the State Government, to our businesses to ensure they were able to prepare for the restrictions that would be implemented on them,” she said.

“Roughly a dozen businesses sought further information to clarify the restrictions that related to their specific industry and situation.”

Fortunately, Ms Brougham said the ‘majority of businesses did not need assistance’ for this lockdown.

“The majority of businesses did not need assistance this time round and as the lockdown was very short we do not expect a large number of requests for new assistance,” she said.

“Ongoing assistance is still being provided to some businesses after the restrictions that were implemented between March and July.

“We have a number of programs available for our members at no cost and I encourage all business owners to contact me for further information.”

Ms Brougham also said the GBDG has launched its Christmas in Gawler campaign, which encourages people to shop locally.

“There are competitions for best Christmas displays and the public vote for the best will provide one of the voters a gift voucher to spend in a local business, all participating businesses are offering special deals for shoppers, some of the Mayors Christmas Card Competition entries will be placed in businesses and a Christmas Card Trail flyer has been delivered to over 10,000 homes this week,” she said.

“Another competition is around the Christmas Cards Trail where shoppers could be in the running to win prizes to the value of $1000.

You can get in contact with Ms Brougham at (caren@gawler.org.au) or 0488 440 588.

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