The Knox business owner

Daniel Conroy from The Knox Made in Watson was one of many Canberrans forced to re-invent their business amid the global pandemic.

18 June 2020

COVID-19 could be considered the icing on the cake in what was already a particularly challenging year for Canberra’s business community.

Daniel Conroy from The Knox Made in Watson was one of many Canberrans forced to re-invent their business amid the global pandemic.

“We set up a temporary drive-through service online ordering and home deliveries,” he said.

“I was absolutely dedicated to staying open during [COVID-19] unless closed down.”

When COVID-19 restrictions meant her students could no longer come to the studio, Julie Scheer from Dance Central Canberra began offering dance classes online.

“I feel like I’ve aged 10 years in the last 10 weeks – a year per week. When I think of our lovely students, they give me the strength to keep finding ways to make our business adapt,” she said.

“As a business owner you are constantly calculating risk, but to be honest I lead with my heart during this time.”

Local retail stores like Derek Kollective in Braddon have also struggled with lower foot traffic and competition from online stores.

“I’ve had a lot of people come in a tell me they’ve spent so much online, and you don’t really want to hear that,” owner Ana Derek said.

Now local businesses are relying on support from Canberrans to ensure they can recover from this difficult period.

Every local purchase goes a long way, not just helping that neighbourhood business, but also their suppliers, their handyman, the barista that fuels their working days and the personal trainer that barista works out with.

Reflecting on a year full of unprecedented challenges, Joelle Bou-Jaoude from Brodburger thinks there is still a long road to travel.

“It’s scary. It’s been hard. We have kept a positive attitude, but it’s tough when we don’t know what’s around the corner,” she said.

Every decision you make on where to spend your money, has the potential to help Canberra recover from COVID-19.

When you choose to support one local business, you’re supporting the broader Canberra community.

For more information on how you can help, visit www.act.gov.au/chooselocalcbr.

All Canberra

Share this article:

Subscribe to the OUR CBR newsletter

Get the latest stories in your inbox