A member of the hospitality industry at Dubbo says it's the fear of the unknown that strikes with COVID-19, but she still has hope for the future.
The Establishment Bar owner Tenelle Bond was moved by the plight of small business owners in Orange when she learnt of the confirmed case that resulted in seven days of stay-at-home orders for Orange, Blayney and Cabonne councils.
"It just broke my heart for the small businesses in that community, because I know how much I work, and I reckon they'd be working the same," she said.
It just broke my heart for the small businesses in that community, because I know how much I work, and I reckon they'd be working the same.The Establishment Bar Dubbo owner Tenelle Bond
"And it's the fear of the unknown, but I still have hope we'll get through it.
"I don't think this is the end for us."
In recent weeks since Sydney's COVID outbreak deepened, business at the two-year-old bar has slowed, Mrs Bond reports.
"Whenever something major happens like an election or anything like this, Dubbo goes under ground," she said.
"We're extremely diligent, so I just noticed there's a massive downturn, even in the city when you're walking around, you actually see the streets are quieter, everyone's cautious out here.
"If only our Sydney friends would be the same."
To meet the challenge, Mrs Bond cut Sundays and Mondays, directing her energies to openings on Thursdays to Saturdays, while trying to minimise the impact on staff.
"We just went, ok, what can we do to create an atmosphere that's not going to wear us out, that's going to keep our customers interested and keep them safe," she said.
The decision had resulted in busier Friday and Saturday nights, Mrs Bond said.
They had also ramped up cocktail classes, creating another shift for a team member, she said.
The born and bred local woman says people can make a difference just by where they spend.
"After this is all over... now it's more important than ever to support each other and to support your locals," Mrs Bond said.
The city had 40,000 people with a catchment area of 130,000, the business owner noted.
"If that means each of us goes somewhere different every day, buy a coffee from a different place each day, buy your lunch from a different place each day," she said.
"If you're going out and going to get a sweater, instead of going to the big companies, that can probably have a little bit of movement, go to that small business, pay that extra 20 bucks, but you know what, that extra 20 bucks is going to support their family for that week...
"Every little bit helps, by us doing that differently... it will make a big difference, I think in the long run, and that's what we need to think of it, because it all goes around because those people will still be here to support you when you need them and vice versa."
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