Recession, Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Small Business
It’s been one helluva year, so far, hasn’t it? And with a recession, coronavirus (COVID-19) and small business suffering, it could be worse before it gets better.
A Guide to Cardinia is a privately-run not-for-profit organisation represented primarily digitally, which aims to:
share information and news about Cardinia Shire to both residents of and visitors to the Shire.
promote inclusiveness and tolerance
promote community and local business as two parts of the whole
provide guidance and assistance for gaining employment, and employing, both within and around the Shire of Cardinia
provide a means of re-connection between people that can often be lost in the rush and chaos of modern life
I bring this up now, because after bushfires, floods and now Coronavirus (COVID-19) we need to come together more than ever before. And I’m NOT talking about the stockpiling and hoarding of toilet paper.
There has been talk of a recession for some little while now, and the onset of COVID-19 has only strengthened that belief, hence the federal government’s stimulus package. For the financially-minded, S&P Global Ratings have this to say:
… Australian economy is seen moving into a recession by June 2020 adding that it will grow 1.2 % in 2020 before rebounding.
However, as with most similar things, it’s partly a political beast, and misses the mark in some areas, and those areas are being affected right now. (and this is not about the politics of the stimulus package, either).
Small businesses in Cardinia Shire – and around the country – are already feeling the effects of people staying away. It’s very sad to see, and in most cases unnecessary.
COVID-19 is spreading reasonably rapidly, there’s no doubt, but COVID-19 is far less potent than say, SARS or MERS (both also coronaviruses). In fact, basic hygiene practices can substantially slow it’s spread – regularly washing hands thouroughly, coughing/sneezing into your elbow and so on. More, soap and water can and will get rid of the virus on common surfaces.Small businesses, such as REACH Gymnastics, are taking this very seriously, going above and beyond the industry standards to ensure their facilities are safe. Some of their measures include:
Disinfecting high-touch surfaces hourly at minimum
Hand sanitizer will be available at the front desk and in the gym space (to be delivered to our gyms tomorrow)
Encouraging gymnasts and staff to stay home when not well
Unlimited rescheduled classes for all members to allow gymnasts to rest when they are ill
Regular venue cleaning to maintain high standard of cleanliness
This, to me, is amazing, and exemplifies just how much small business means to our community. And yet, we seem to be avoiding them for no good reason. In a similar fashion, Emerald Village Meats have started providing a home delivery service – for themselves and the Emerald Fruit Barn – for those who have chosen to self-isolate.
Conversely, I have not seen any of these measures in, say, supermarkets, where it would make sense to have hand-sanitisation stations at every checkout, at a minimum. Given the Federal government’s “edict” to cancel all non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people, surely the larger businesses could follow the lead of their smaller counterparts in doing their part to slow and stop the spread?If you are unsure, instead of simply avoiding our small businesses, call them, and ask them what they’re doing. I can almost guaratee you that it will be more than the larger businesses where crowds regularly congregate.