Shop locally to help the Capes bounce back

Catherine MasseyBusselton Dunsborough Times

Residents are being encouraged to support local businesses after a snap lockdown earlier this month which reportedly cost the Capes economy at least “hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

With many events unable to go ahead, such as the Geographe Bay Race Week, and most shops forced to close for the lockdown, a substantial economic dent was recorded for the first week of February.

Dunsborough Yallingup Chamber of Commerce and Industry vice-president Andrew Bromley, pictured, said a lack of travel confidence was to be expected following the lockdown and a lower transfer of people would be noticed in the coming weeks. “Not having visitors and not being able to open hospitality venues had a big impact,” he said.

“February is the traditional downturn coming out of January and the holidays, so luckily people are also used to having a lower turnover at this time of year.

“Some venues did a little pivot and were able to adapt to doing just takeaways. To an extent it was manageable, but people had to rapidly adjust their business models for the week.”

Mr Bromley said it was important for the Capes community to shop locally to help businesses heavily affected by the lockdown.

“Build the community by shopping locally, get to know your local shop owners and business owners,” he said.

Merchant and Maker in Dunsborough was able to adjust its business model to open during lockdown but co-director Steve Momsen said it still experienced a 70 per cent decline.

“Staying open was to ensure our casual workers, who rely on the shifts, were looked after as well as the local community,” he said. Mr Momsen encouraged the community to support local, especially businesses who were unable to open at all during the snap lockdown.

Vasse MLA and Opposition deputy leader Libby Mettam said it was a disgrace the McGowan Government was not offering more support to small businesses.

“Small business owners would have expected the State Government to have a plan to assist those businesses who closed to keep us safe,” she said.

Ms Mettam said the Government had had months to prepare for the outbreak.

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