Cafe owner’s mission to keep local ‘gem’ alive in pandemic
BUSINESS owners are welcoming the announcement that a Federal Government wage subsidy will help employers through the coronavirus pandemic.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Sunday the package would include a $1500 a fortnight “job keeper” allowance for those whose employers went into “hibernation” for the next six months.
A Currimundi ”hidden gem” is one of many cafes and restaurants across the Coast serving takeaways and doing its best to adapt to new changes daily.
Coco’s Beachside Cafe owner Debbie Salem was relieved to still be able to open her doors on Monday morning, after fearing over the weekend a full shutdown was imminent.
“If Coco’s goes down, I’m going down with it,” she said.
Ms Salem said it was vital for residents to continue supporting local businesses during the shutdowns.
“We’ve got to think of where we’re putting our money,” she said.
“Small businesses go back into the community. You’re helping a person survive.
“When the small family businesses are gone, what are we going to be left with?”
Ms Salem said the cafe had only just come out unscathed when a sewage leak at Currimundi Lake caused people to stop visiting.
“When the lake was opened, it was a beautiful day and we had an awesome weekend, and then next minute the coronavirus hit. And then boom,” she said.
The chef and business owner said she was committed to keeping her nine employees in a job, even if it meant “going under” herself.
“I just don’t want to see anyone suffer. I’d rather go down first than have them (lose their jobs),” she said.
The Federal Government has so far announced two stimulus packages worth more than $80 billion aimed at trying to shield business and workers from the impact of coronavirus.
“The next stage … will be even bigger than anything you have so far seen,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told media on Sunday.
“It is part of the hibernation strategy of ensuring that we keep people connected with their businesses and with their jobs, so on the other side of this, Australia can bounce back stronger.”