Boorowa Business Chamber optimistic after lifting of restrictions

Boorowa Business Chamber President, Angus Mitchell.
Boorowa Business Chamber President, Angus Mitchell.

Following the lifting of certain restrictions across the state, Boorowa Business Chamber (BBC) President Angus Mitchell says he hopes to see local business booming towards the end of the year.

Mr Mitchell said local businesses have done it tough during the last few months, with the Hilltops local government area (LGA) going in and out of lockdown following cases in Young.

He said stay-at-home orders have had different impacts on certain businesses.

"Basically it depends on which business you're in," Mr Mitchell said.

"People are at home, they're thinking of doing things so they engage the local builders, electricians, plumbers... which is a good thing because Canberra is closed, and all of our tradies go to Canberra, but they aren't able to because of their lockdown.

"I think a lot of the tradies are doing ok, the landscape places, they are doing exceptionally well... the pubs of course have taken a bit of a hammering but coming out of lockdown, obviously they've picked up a bit.

"They're getting people back in the bars, some of them did quite well with the takeaway food."

With last Monday's "Freedom Day" allowing businesses such as pubs, clubs, cafes, hairdressers and retail to once again open their doors to customers, plenty of people across NSW enjoyed a relative return to normality.

However Mr Mitchell believes businesses aren't out of the woods yet.

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"Coming out of lockdown, it's very much confusing," he said.

"We've got more restrictions today than what we had four days ago and that is the double vaccinations."

He said businesses face extra pressure with the onus on them to check for double vaccination proof.

"It's the poor girl at the front that takes all the blast and it's quite unfair on them," Mr Mitchell said.

"Last week you could just walk in, so it doesn't make sense to a lot of people why you have to have this double vax proof. To business owners, it's another complication.

"I've had quite a few people say they will wait until December 1, when they don't have to do that or risk getting a $5000 fine."

With a number of new businesses opening their doors, Mr Mitchell believes Boorowa's success will rely on Canberra and residents choosing to shop locally in the lead up to Christmas.

"Boorowa's a bit of a booming little town," he said.

"[But] things like Woolfest was cancelled, the Cars on the Green at the Rec Club, that was cancelled so it's a bit disappointing, that's where businesses make a fair bit of money but that's the way it is.

"Canberra's our big issue, because we get a lot of people from Canberra.

"Business will benefit greatly from that. Christmas is coming up, again we hope people buy local.

"That combined with lockdown being lifted, we hope between the end of October and Christmas will be busy and profitable for people and we need that.

"We haven't got the population of Young, we haven't got the population of Cowra, that keeps the local businesses going so we have to rely on the tourist trade and trying to do things to encourage people to come to Boorowa as well."

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