Give small business a helping hand
It is Thursday again which means it must be Appy Books’ weekly staff catchup day at our local coffee haunt. We always share what has
happened during our week and often run into other local business owners for a quick chat. Today we were reminded that the March 2022 West
End flood waters may have subsided, but not everyone has recovered. Some businesses are still trying to rebuild.
Limitless Performance Centre is a gym on Bailey Street, West End. They are a new business, only setting up in late 2021. In March 2022, just
before the flood, they were going great guns. They were hitting their growth targets and powering along with new customers every week.
Overnight, their business was underwater, and they lost it all; their equipment, their fit-out and their customers. Pretty tough for any
business owner but especially tough if you are just starting out. I was chatting to Luke Everett, the owner, this morning. He said they were
the first business in our area to lodge their flood insurance claim and their request for a state government grant, but the progress of the
pay outs has still been excruciatingly slow. They have had to fight for their insurance claim to prove that it was storm water damage. They
have had to be organised and determined with the grant submission. And they have had to rely on the kindness and support of their landlord
while they were closed for three months while they were rebuilding their dream. That is a lot of pressure. Now, they have finally received a
pay out and have reopened, but their customer base has shrunk by 90%. Customers have left the area or moved on to other gyms and Luke is
back to square one trying to attract new customers.
In another part of West End, we have a hospitality client that are still waiting for their insurance claim to be assessed and approved. They
cannot reopen without new equipment, and they cannot afford new equipment until their claim is paid. So, they have lost their source of
income as well as their dream.
It breaks my heart hearing all these stories. All the small business owners I work with put their heart and soul into their work. They have
survived a global pandemic and a flood and are still hanging in there with grit, resilience, and a smile. So, other than offering emotional
support, what is the best way we can all help them? Show them some love and part with some cash. Buy an extra coffee, eat out more often
then join a gym to work it off. I know a great one that is right down the street.