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Bushfire and Coronavirus Impact on Businesses

BMRBC April Newsletter

Pandemic pandemonium – what’s the panacea?

Like many of us, you will no doubt be receiving a barrage of emails and nightly updates via the various news services of the Covid–19 pandemic sweeping the world. In this newsletter we attempt to bring a positive note to an otherwise catastrophic crisis, the likes of which most of us have never experienced before.

To begin, we need to highlight the vast array of resources that have been made available to you, especially what you can access for no, or minimal, cost through the recently relaunched New South Wales State Chamber, or as it is now known - Business NSW, and more particularly Business Australia.

In an interview with Business NSW CEO, Stephen Cartwright, today he advised that Business Australia can assist with the following services:

  • Stimulus Advice Line
  • Apprenticeship Advice Line
  • Workplace Advice Line
  • Business guides for employers and sole traders
  • Free documents and HR tools, and
  • Daily updates

A recording of the interview with Stephen will be made available to all members within the next few days. Our thanks go to the Penrith Business Chamber for arranging this.

By the way, if you are not aware, all businesses within Australia can join Business Australia for no cost, a membership which lasts forever. Access to all of their resources will then be available to you; if you have not yet done so, please sign up.

Here is a link to Business Australia, and the resources mentioned above: Business Resources.

The situation that most businesses find themselves in at the moment can be categorised as either:

  • in distress,
  • building resilience, or
  • finding opportunities.

Trumans Chartered Accountants, in their April Newsletter, provide a good summary of the Covid-19 stimulus  and rescue package here: Stimulus

Kate Carnell, the Small Business Ombudsman, recently described how some businesses were “pivoting” and taking advantage of the situation in which they found themselves in order to “build positives” where there did not appear to be any beforehand. For example, she cited the florist who had taken to delivering groceries as they had a delivery van that was not being used and, in collaboration with a local greengrocer (who had previously not undertaken deliveries) found a new income stream. Also, the interior designer/decorator who had previously made personal visits to prospective clients, but was now advising (via the use of Zoom, or other online media devices) and providing consulting services to people not only in different suburbs, but in different states, as to how to paint and redecorate their homes whilst locked down.

It raises the question of what can you be doing to pivot your business into other areas and what opportunities are there for a change in income streams?

One thing we can all be sure of is that life as we knew it, will never be the same again and out of these challenging times we need to look for positives in all areas and how we can build upon those. Yes, there are many negatives and it can be depressing and distressing but the challenge is to find a way to climb above our current predicament. Fortunately, as a nation, we have a history of rising to, and overcoming such challenges. We need to adapt, innovate, and overcome.

Our Chamber exists for the benefit of all our members, and in fact all businesses within the city of the Blue Mountains. We want to ensure that whilst we may be physically distanced, we stay in touch with you as we realise the importance of sharing stories and just being there for each other. We are planning to provide a fortnightly “business huddle” where those who wish to can join us online for a bit of a chat about how things are going and any assistance that you might need, or just to be pointed in the right direction for available resources. If you would like to participate, please email your intention to and we will be in touch with further details.

Additionally, regular updates are provided via our Facebook and LinkedIn company pages. Please note that where LinkedIn is concerned we will be removing the personal LinkedIn page in favour of the company page as we also take the opportunity to “Feng Shui” our business. A separate note will be sent to all contacts using the LinkedIn personal page.

Finally, please ensure it take the opportunity to apply for the bushfire recovery grants and other funding available to you. We are aware of members who have applied and already received funds within days of their application is being submitted so make sure you don’t miss out.

As a business owner, I find myself wondering how people are managing in the face of challenging times. Like you, these concerns keep me awake at night. That is why we have decided to do something about it.

Firstly, let me assure you: you are not alone. Our Board members are highly experienced business owners who all have weathered tough times, disasters and recovery after business-stalling events – and we would like to offer support to our local businesses.

What Can We Do?

Get in touch
Members and non-members are invited to give us feedback and tell us how you are going and how we can help


I encourage you to get in touch, complete the feedback form and have a chat. By understanding more about what you need, we can make sure that we offer better services and meaningful support for local businesses, to get through this tough time and keep our communities thriving.

Other support is available here

What can we do for you? 

Mark Barton, President BMRBC