There’s been a lot of doom and gloom about this year, especially in Victoria, but at last we’re starting to see some positivity return with the light at the end of the tunnel now in sight.
 
With COVID case numbers continuing to fall there’s now a fair bit of optimism, particularly in the hospitality sector, that things could open up sooner than expected and there may be some opportunities to capitalise on Grand Final weekend, traditionally a bumper weekend for Melbourne.
 
With the next round of restrictions planned to ease on 19 October, Grand Final weekend could mean a boost for restaurants, pubs and cafes across the state, and particularly in Melbourne where they have been among the hardest hit workplaces.
 
We’ve seen thousands of workers return to work this week in warehouses, construction sites and distribution centres, and the chance to promote a big weekend of business as the city tunes into the Brisbane-hosted Grand Final is something to look forward to for many small business owners and their customers.
 
The other fast-approaching event is the federal budget, which is set to be handed down next week.
 
While I know there are many business owners who will be eager to see what announcements are made that may affect their work, I don’t think there will be a huge number of new measures enacted.
 
As we’ve seen, the federal and state governments have already thrown the kitchen sink at helping small businesses stay afloat this year, with JobKeeper, JobSeeker and other stimulus measures taken up widely across the country.
 
One thing I have been pleased to see - and this had been led by New South Wales and Queensland - are the free voluntary online courses in relation to customer service, food service, and COVID awareness, in order to help businesses adjust to the COVID-normal way of conducting business.
 
Every workplace is going to need a COVID plan, and a lot of these courses will help individual businesses to develop and enact this plan for their workplace to help it continue to operate effectively.
 
These are available on the New South Wales, Queensland, and Victorian state government websites under ‘COVID awareness’, and I urge all small business owners to explore the available courses to help keep your doors open.