‘Pay it forward’ to support Lake Mac businesses

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1 September, 2021

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27 August 2021
Media release

‘Pay it forward’ to support Lake Mac businesses

 As regional NSW heads into another two weeks of lockdown, Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser and Dantia CEO Katherine O’Regan are encouraging residents to support local businesses in the council area by ‘paying it forward’ for goods or services that can be redeemed after lockdown.

Cr Fraser says buying a voucher or pre-paying for a regular service like a haircut or beauty appointment can help provide small businesses with much-needed cash flow as they navigate this prolonged lockdown period.

“Unfortunately, the bills don’t stop when businesses have to close their doors or scale down their operations due to COVID-19,” Cr Fraser said.

“Buying vouchers or paying in advance for your next appointment can provide those businesses with some income to help see them through the lockdown.

“Lake Mac residents have been great supporters of local business to date, buying takeaways from local cafes and restaurants and buying online products locally where they can – and we want them to continue that.

“But service providers like hairdressers, beauticians and tourism operators don’t have the same opportunities to continue trading during lockdown. That’s where paying it forward can help.”

Businesses prohibited from opening under the current NSW COVID restrictions include most retail premises, entertainment facilities, tourism operators, hairdressers, beauty therapists, gyms and indoor sport and recreation centres.

Beauty therapist Brooke Jones, owner of The Bodhi Effect at Charlestown, said pre-paying for services can help business owners with budgeting during lockdown.

Ms Jones posted a voucher promotion on her business social media pages last week and found many regular clients were only too happy to pay it forward for their next appointment.

“This lockdown has been really hard, as it has been a week-to-week thing, so you can’t plan ahead and there hasn’t been as much support for business in the way of discounts or deferments on bills,” Ms Jones said.

“I can generate a small amount of money from selling product online but more than 95 per cent of the business income comes from beauty services, which we can’t provide at the moment.”

Ms O’Regan, who leads Lake Macquarie’s economic development organisation Dantia, said any extra support that generates work for staff or income during lockdown can help small businesses in this difficult time, allowing them to keep their workers in employment.

Ms O’Regan said many businesses offered vouchers on their websites or through their social media pages. Alternatively, customers can ring, email or message business owners via social media to ask if there is an opportunity to pre-pay for their next appointment or service.

“Why not book yourself a post-lockdown pamper session, a PT session at your gym, or a local tourism adventure experience to enjoy when the business reopens,” Ms O’Regan said.

“You’ll be supporting local business when they need it, and giving yourself something to look forward to after lockdown.

“It’s also a great time to buy gift vouchers for friends and family, so they can enjoy a post-lockdown experience as well.”

How to support local business through lockdown:

  • Use local retailers when shopping online
  • Use click and collect services where offered by local retailers
  • Buy takeaway from local restaurants, cafes and other food providers
  • ‘Pay it forward’ for post-lockdown services by buying a voucher or asking the business if you can pre-pay for an appointment or service

For more information about community and business support measures Council is taking during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit lakemac.com.au.