Two Queensland women behind two small businesses have launched an online community, Thriving through COVID19, bringing hundreds of small business owners together to stay inspired and positive through this time – off the back of their own businesses being hit hard by COVID-19.
Flamanko Social Media founder Rachel Callan, based on the Sunshine Coast, and Katie Martel of Croft PR in Brisbane – launched the group last Tuesday, bringing together people from all kinds of locations and industries including gin production, bedding manufacturing, café owners, tourism and holiday accommodation owners, photographers, plumbers, physiotherapists, psychologists and personal trainers.
“Both Rachel and I work with clients who were among the first to be hit by the social isolation restrictions – including hospitality, retail, and pubs and clubs – so our businesses have been impacted significantly during this time,” Martel said.
“With outstanding invoices, small teams to support, and both as mums with little ones home full time now – it’s been more than a challenging time.
“We were craving connection, inspiration and support – and a much-needed laugh – and we figured there are a tonne of others out there wanting this too – and was the motivation to kick start Thriving with COVID19 group.”
“The one thing bringing us all together is sadly the coronavirus – no one is immune,” Callan said.
“We want to bring as many of us together, to share our stories, help us realise we’re not alone in how we’re feeling – and offer help to those where they can – because it’s an incredible way to stay motivated no matter how you’re affected!”
Hundreds affected by COVID-19 join group
Some of the people who’ve jumped into the group include Ash Thallon who lives on the Sunshine Coast and is the owner of a bedding label called Garzie + May, with handmade products imported from India.
Ash’s team stopped production three weeks ago after India went into lockdown.
“I’m just trying to stay positive about it all and finalise new designs and new products to add to our range, as well as use this “spare time” to clean up my list of “I’ll do that tomorrow” and enjoy the time with the little ones at home,” Thallon said.
Others include Kerrie Carucci, a stylist who went full time in to her business only a few months ago.
She commented: “The pure nature of my business – like offering personal services and creating shoots for editorial opportunities – have been impacted with the social distancing limitations. But I’ve seen this as a great opportunity to diversify my services, build my virtual offerings and create content and support my community.”
Another member includes former Queensland Bulls cricketer, now owner of Outside Edge Adventures, a fishing travel company and Nathan Reardon Cricket Coaching.
Reardon said: “Obviously these times are very different, for not only myself, but everyone involved in this group who own their own businesses…if there is any way I can help out please let me know.”
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