How NSW businesses are innovating to stay alive

 

Clothing stores delivering food, pubs turned into convenience stores and kindy activity groups turning to online are the many ways Sydney businesses are staying afloat amid the coronavirus chaos.

Women's fashion retailer Millers has turned to delivering ready-to-eat meals at a time when most people aren't heading to the shops.

"Millers has partnered with Be Fit Meal Program to bring meals to your door. Just another one of our ways to support you during this tough time as we understand you need to stay home," the company said to customers in a newsletter.

Millers fashion brand has turned to the ready-to-eat meal industry after their stores closed due to the coronavirus crisis. Picture: Bill North
Millers fashion brand has turned to the ready-to-eat meal industry after their stores closed due to the coronavirus crisis. Picture: Bill North

The fashion brand has no previous association with the food industry but pivoting to a completely new product is how many companies are sustaining themselves during the COVID-19 shutdown.

Children's educational activity program GymbaROO has also had to shut its doors due to the crackdown on social interactions - but the company is working to transition online to keep its offerings going.

GymbaROO Sydney West franchise owner Kaylene Birt broke down in tears as she talked about the transition her business was going through - but maintained they are focused on adapting to the changing situation.

"Since Tuesday our business has gone from a booming business to asking ourselves if it will ever reopen. It's all hands on deck to figure out how to provide this same program in the home environment," she told The Daily Telegraph.

"We are filming the classes so our parents will log into a parent portal and do them with the kids. Myself and my business partner are doing lots of things like putting packages together to post out to parents."

GymbaROO Sydney West has been forced to turn to online classes to keep their business operational. Picture: Supplied
GymbaROO Sydney West has been forced to turn to online classes to keep their business operational. Picture: Supplied

Ms Birt said the business was shifting from teaching children to teaching parents how to educate their children themselves.

"What I've noticed as a teacher in the last 10 years is that parents have forgotten how to play with children. Kids are generally playing beside the parent while the parents are caught up in work," she said.

"We are taking this as a positive, to re-educate parents on how to build bonds with their children like we did many years ago."

W. Short Hospitality offers essential items to its customers at pubs in NSW. Picture: Supplied
W. Short Hospitality offers essential items to its customers at pubs in NSW. Picture: Supplied

W. Short Hospitality Group has transformed their local pubs into convenience stores, selling fresh food, toilet paper, alcohol and sanitiser.

The company has turned The Royal Hotel, The Tudor Hotel, Seabreeze Beach Hotel, Toormina Hotel and Sawtell Hotel into stores in a bid to keep staff in jobs despite the lock down.

W. Short Hospitality has turned some of their pubs into convenience stores, selling essentials such as bread and fresh produce. Picture: Supplied
W. Short Hospitality has turned some of their pubs into convenience stores, selling essentials such as bread and fresh produce. Picture: Supplied

Owner Marty Short said he wanted the pubs to still be a hub for the community in these changing times.

"We've implemented all the social distancing rules and working on ideas to expand collection and delivery options. For now, we just want the local communities to come in, buy local, and support their local pubs to keep us around for when this is over," he said.

"It's our attempt to keep staff and suppliers in a job and provide convenience and comfort to the local communities we love."

Originally published as How NSW businesses are innovating to stay alive



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