Local-business owner

Heart-warming stories from local businesses across the ACT are emerging each day.

27 July 2020

If COVID-19 has affected your travel plans, now is the time to book a staycation and explore your own backyard.

Head to the other side of Lake Burley Griffin to tick off bucket list experiences, discover new favourites and support local businesses in the process.

After closing their doors for several weeks during the height of COVID-19 restrictions, Michael Spaseski from Fenway Public House in Phillip is grateful for the support of both regulars and new customers exploring the southside of Canberra.

“We just want to thank everyone for their support - without them there would be no business,” Michael said.

“I think Canberra kind of gets it - their support has probably saved a lot of people from closing permanently.”

While you’re on the southside, pop into The Markets at Wanniassa for a spot of shopping. After closing for six weeks, James and Fiona Lester are pleased to be welcoming customers again, and helping to support other local businesses along the way.

“Three and a bit years ago when we started with a three-week pop-up store, we had $50 in the bank. Now we work with over 90 micro and small businesses, about 60 [of which] are from Canberra or the local area,” Fiona said.

“Everything we sell is Australian-owned or [Australian-made], primarily handmade. Often makers find it hard to talk about themselves and toot their own horn, but I can rave about their product for them.”

Southsiders, now is the time to head northside and check out children's and ladies wear store, Mini Bling and Me in Gungahlin Marketplace.

“We’re a bit like a hairdresser, you know,” owner Christine Sbai said.

“We’ve got our regular customers… we know what’s going on in each other’s lives, and even if they’re not coming in to buy something that day… it’s nice to just to have that discussion and that chat.”

Finish the day at Old Canberra Inn in Lyneham, where Ben Johnston is beyond grateful for the continued support of the Canberra community.

“We pivoted to takeaway mode. There were lots of challenges - you’ve got to get takeaway packaging, and of course, everyone else is looking for takeaways packaging. You’ve got to work out what menu items work for takeaway mode,” Ben said.

“Lots of people went out of their way to support us, ordering takeaways and sharing Facebook posts to help spread the word about what we were doing.”

Heart-warming stories from local businesses across the ACT are emerging each day. Discover them for yourself as you explore a new part of Canberra. Choose local to support our locals.

Find more inspiration for your next outing at www.act.gov.au/chooselocalcbr.

All Canberra

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