Despite the illusion that Brisbane business has ground to a halt, thousands of businesses are still opening their doors, braving the coronavirus pandemic to continue to deliver services to loyal customers.
Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said shops and services across the city continued to defy the conditions and open their doors, keeping staff employed and cashflow ticking over.
“We have everything from local hair salons and barbers, to furniture stores, toy shops, restaurants and cafes across the city solely relying on customer loyalty to survive,” Cr Schrinner said.
“Business closures have dominated the news but the confidence of businesses that continue to operate in such tough times needs to be acknowledged,” Cr Schrinner said.
“These include markets, real estate agencies, hairdressers and barbershops and the decision for them to continue to operate is not the most financially viable and can mean devastating job cuts and a dramatic reduction in customers.
“It’s people power and loyalty that has ensured the scissors are still snipping, coffee machines are still churning out brews and retail shops are still selling goods.”
Cr Schrinner said businesses such as the Brisbane hairdressing chain Stefan have been shaken to the core by the coronavirus pandemic but are pushing on despite economic hardship.
“Uncertain futures, health and safety concerns and restrictions are plenty of reasons to shut up shop, but a loyal customer base has ensured that businesses keep the doors open and keep people employed while working to strict safety guidelines,” he said.
Stefan Corporation Founder Stefan Ackerie said this is one of the greatest tests of his times.
“This is something I could never have dreamt of, but we feel very privileged to have amazing staff and loyal customers to look after during these times,” Mr Ackerie said.
Cr Schrinner said the fact that so many doors are still open is proof that Brisbane residents have heeded calls to shop local and this must continue to stop businesses from going under.
“What will help businesses survive is support from not only residents, but Council and that’s why I remain strong in my message to businesses that we are there to help them,” he said.
“Every cent of our $7.9 million business relief package is going back to businesses, with business charges, rent, fees or permits waived until at least June 30 helping ease economic hardship.
“We have also made paid meter parking free and introduced $5 daily parking at our council- owned carparks.
“Shopping local is something I live by and I urge people to put Brisbane business at the forefront of their minds when spending dollars, be it at the local salon, the friendly neighbourhood butcher or a café or restaurant.”
For more information about business support, call Brisbane City Council’s dedicated hotline at 133 BNE. For other information call Council on 3403 8888.