Letter From The Editor: Open For Business

The time to support our communities has never been more vital. I can pinpoint when life drastically changed. It was mid-February, and news coverage of the coronavirus shifted from sporadic, to a rolling 24/7 update and people started panic buying. In March, we were told to work from home indefinitely, and in April our Prime Minister announced that social distancing measures will be our ‘new normal’ for six months.

We’ve spent more than the past month attached to the hard news, and I have to admit, I’m fatigued. I need a reprieve, and I need to channel my energy into something other than ever-changing statistics and (confusing) new rules to live by. Especially if this is our ‘new normal’.

And I know I’m not alone.

We’ve received feedback from our readers that while it’s important to stay informed (in healthy doses), they now want to take action. We couldn’t agree more.

Today, we launch an exciting new initiative called Open For Business in partnership with GoDaddy — a global brand that gives businesses and entrepreneurs the tools they need to turn an idea into a reality.

We’re shifting our focus to support small businesses and entrepreneurs within our communities. Did you know small businesses employ approximately 44% of Australia’s workforce? And that they contribute to just over a third of our nation’s gross domestic product?

Small businesses have been hit hard, and what they need most right now, is customers. Foot traffic has all but disappeared, and consumers are (understandably) conscious and cautious of their spending.

We want to shine a light across a range of industries that need our help, by showcasing different ways you can support those businesses now and in the future. It doesn’t mean you need to part with money, while you too may be struggling. It might be as simple as hitting ‘follow’ on Instagram and engaging with their content, or buying a restaurant voucher now to use later. Word of mouth is one of the most valuable ways for a business to be heard. Do you love your local deli? Tell your friends! Another way you can support, could be by starting your Christmas shopping early. Whatever you can do, big or small, it all helps — it’s what we need to do to ensure our communities continue to thrive once we emerge from this chaos.

We’ve interviewed more than 50 small businesses (over the phone, of course), and one of the main themes to emerge is around adaptability. Many business owners spoke of the need to quickly make changes to the way they work, even if that means making a decision that works for one week, and pivoting the next. We’ll be highlighting some of the creative solutions that are working for some, that in turn might help your business, too. It could be as simple as setting up an e-commerce section on your website, or uploading video tutorials for your customers to keep them engaged.

The effects of this time will be felt for years to come, but we have the ability to change the course of businesses across Australia.

We want to show you that small businesses are open, even if their doors are closed.

Over the next few days, weeks, and months, please support the small businesses in your community. Follow along on @thelatch.vmd-multisite.dev-serv.net, where we might introduce you to your new favourite chocolate brand, or entice you to finally learn that second langauge (how many times can it sit on your resolution list?!) for when we’re allowed to travel again.

If you know a small business that would like some extra support, please DM us on Instagram or email me directly — abardas@valmorgan.com.au.

GoDaddy is empowering entrepreneurs around the world by providing all of the help and tools to succeed online. With 19 million customers worldwide, GoDaddy is the place people come to name their idea, build a professional website, attract customers and manage their work. Our mission is to give our customers the tools, insights and the people to transform their ideas and personal initiative into success.