The owner of a new Dubbo food business estimates she will lose at least 70 per cent of her stock after being caught up in the city's worsening COVID-19 outbreak.
Caterer The Harvest Central West was named by NSW Health as one of five venues of concern on Wednesday in the wake of the first confirmed cases detected in the city for more than a year.
The Harvest founder Georgia Stevens was forced to shut the doors "on the spot" on Wednesday when she learnt her Palmer Street premises was a venue of concern.
Anyone who attended it on Saturday August 7 between 9.52am and 10.10am is considered a casual contact and must get tested and self-isolate.
Ms Stevens spoke to the Daily Liberal on Thursday afternoon, at which time there were a total of six cases in the Western NSW Local Health District.
She said she had learnt of being a venue of concern from customers at her shop.
A short time earlier The Harvest team had been discussing how it could survive the anticipated lockdown.
Ms Stevens said having to close so suddenly meant she would lose a lot of stock.
"At least 70 per cent of our stock, because we have such a high turnover of food because everything's made fresh on the day," she said.
"We were all prepped up ready for the next day, and we prepped up extra because we wanted to do home meals, because we were going to be affected with the takeaways, so we thought we'd do meals...
So on that day we went out and spent hundreds of dollars on that sort of stuff as well, which was all perishable.The Harvest founder Georgia Stevens
"So on that day we went out and spent hundreds of dollars on that sort of stuff as well, which was all perishable."
Ms Stevens and her four staff members all returned negative results on Thursday, which she said was a big relief.
"Yes, because we were worried, as everyone would be who came into the shop on Saturday," she said.
Ms Stevens was awaiting further advice from NSW Health, but anticipated being in isolation until August 21.
She was already thinking about stricter practices and perhaps people waiting outside her small shop, to avoid a repeat of being named a venue of concern.
"That's something we would do because of this experience, because to be within an hour told that we have to shutdown and isolate for 14 days, I can't afford it, and I know for my staff, it's hard on them as well, so I definitely don't want to have any risks when we do reopen," Ms Stevens said.
"Especially because we are a new business, a lot of people would realise there's still money going out, and there is no money coming in."
The business owner previously operated a cafe, but the COVID shutdown of last year led to her starting The Harvest.
"One of the reasons why I got out of that is because if this did reoccur, I thought 'We're takeaway, we'll be safe, because we'll still be able to trade'," she said.
"And then obviously this happened and we were the only cafe in town that got affected like this, so it was a bit of a kick in the guts, but anyway... if we can survive this, we can survive anything, so that's how you've got to look at it, I guess."
Ms Stevens said messages and phone calls of support had flooded in.
"So because it [the shutdown] was so on the spot, I didn't have time to process it, and I was lying in bed last night and my phone was just blowing up, phone calls, texts," she said.
"Even from other coffee shops as well, that I don't know, people are just flooding messages and love, so the support is crazy actually, it's really nice.
"...I didn't expect it, because it's the last thing you think about, because everyone's going through the same thing, I thought why would people think we're any different, because we're all in lockdown, but it's really nice and reassuring because when we do reopen, we have such a strong support network."
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