Community support is the key to on-going survival for business
As they’ve adapted to changing circumstances, it’s been community support which has helped Tararua District cafés and restaurants survive during COVID-19 Alert Level 3.
Across the district, this sector has had to make big changes in the way they work, with more changes to come when we transition to Alert Level 2.
But residents throughout the district, responding to the District Council’s #LoveLocalTararua campaign, and desperate for their coffee and takeaway fix, have been keen to support local businesses.
Café Norsewood owner, Trish Roberts, has had to severely reduce the hours the café has been open for contactless service.
“We’re open just three hours a day (in Alert Level 3) and that’s enough for us to do what’s needed,” Trish said. And community support has been tremendous.
“This little community out here is absolutely wonderful, I can’t thank them enough,” Trish said. “The locals have been marvellous.”
Trish hasn’t decided how she will operate in Alert Level 2, because with just herself and one staff member, Government requirements for separate servers for each table isn’t going to work.
“I think it may continue to be takeaways here, but I’ve still got to work out a plan,” she said.
Dannevirke’s Tikka Talks owner, Neil Sayed, said they’ll be very happy in Alert Level 2.
“We can cope,” he said.
Neil attributes community support for their survival in Alert Level 3, with contactless takeaways and a home delivery service for his kebabs and curries.
“The community support has been very nice - we are surviving and have been able to pay some bills,” he said.
In Pahiatua, Red Chillies owner, Sujan Vk, said local support is vital and the key to ongoing survival.
“We operated a takeaway service in Alert Level 3, with online ordering, as well as phone orders, giving people the option of online payment or contactless, over the counter payments,” he said. “But some days business has been quiet, so we need the support of locals. We can’t tolerate too much downtime, we need people to think local first, we need that support, especially at this time. If locals support us, we’ll be here for them in the future.”
Sujan said Red Chillies can “definitely” operate under Alert Level 2.
At Sammy’s on Dannevirke’s High Street, owner Samantha Christison said community support has been overwhelming.
“This is a really great community,” she said.
And while, in Alert Level 3, demand has mainly been for coffee, food has also been on the menu for contactless pick up.
Samantha is also confident of being able to cope when we transition to Alert Level 2.
“I have nice, big premises here so distancing won’t be a problem,” she said. “But there is still some uncertainty in the Government regulations. For instance, where do we get people to pay if they can’t come up to the counter? But I don’t stress it. Our hygiene is tops and each day in Alert Level 3 the local Police have called in and can’t fault us. They have also given us great advice and support too.”
Tararua District Mayor, Tracey Collis, said people should be proud to support local and the #LoveLocalTararua campaign.
“We will get through this, we are resilient, innovative and well connected,” she said.
For a list of Takeaways and Cafes click here