Pubs closed for foreseeable future

By Daniel Hughes

Shopping local is now as important as ever with a number of local business sectors affected by government mandated shut downs, according to Finley Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture president Gary Carr.

Mr Carr said the restricted businesses represent a large percentage of the local business community, and said the local economy will likely take a massive hit as a result.

But he said community members can help reduce the severity by making careful decisions about how and where they shop.

“This situation that businesses face is certainly not ideal and will continue to have an effect for some time,” Mr Carr said.

“We know a lot of businesses are changing business models to accommodate the restrictions. It is good to see they're being proactive at this time.

“I encourage that at this time we all try to work with each other, to support our local businesses and shop locally.”

The restrictions apply to:

  • Pubs, registered and licensed clubs (excluding bottle shops attached to these venues), hotels (excluding accommodation)
  • Gyms and indoor sporting venues
  • Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, and night clubs
  • Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery
  • Religious gatherings, places of worship or funerals (in enclosed spaces and other than very small groups and where the one person per four square metre rule applies).

The Commonwealth Government has not ruled out placing restrictions on further industries if there is no improvement to the spread of the virus.

Mr Carr said while is own business is not listed among the restricted services, he is also doing what he can to support social distancing.

“We are still up and running online and doing deliveries,” he said.

“We've had to change a lot of our business structure to reflect the needs of the customers.

“There is a lot of unknown on what to do but as long as we, and other local businesses, do our best we can continue after everything is over.”

Among the local businesses shut down by the government directive is the Finley Community Gym, and the Finley RS Club.

“It was the smart thing to do,” Community Gym committee member Paul Dundon said of the decision to close.

“Being a community gym we can't be there all the time wiping everything down, and we can't ensure that each member is doing that themselves.

“We're doing what needs to be done.

“The virus is more serious then people think; it's fast acting against the respiratory system so we're not taking any chances.”

Finley RS manager Karen Lane said while food outlets are still allowed to offer takeaway services, she said the club made the decision to shut down completely.

“We have closed everything across the whole club,” Ms Lane said.

“The temporary closure will ensure the health and safety of our members, guests and staff.

“We decided that all of our scheduled events will not be cancelled but postponed and will happen at a later date.”

“We won't be offering any delivery or take away options on our food, but we are looking forward to the time we can reopen and get everything back on track as soon as possible.”

Finley Country Club has said while it will continue to offer a takeaway service from the hotel, the government directive has still impacted significantly on the business.

Publican Rick Shaw said it has forced him to slash his workforce.

“We recognise and applaud our leaders for taking the measures needed to limit the spread of COVID-19, but it means we have had to unfortunately close our doors for now.

“This has lead to the unfortunate layoff of all our casual staff.

“We are hoping however, that with the support of the community, we can keep our kitchen staff busy and provide a much needed service.

“We will have new takeaway and delivery menus.

“We will also keep our motel open and offer delivery and breakfast items to not only our own motel guests, but other guests in motels around Finley as well.

“While we want to keep our distance for health and safety reasons, we will ensure our kitchen service remains open for door step delivery.

“On top of this, I understand that birthdays and small events may still be going ahead within families, for this reason we're prepared to work with those events to cater special items and will also deliver them as well.”

To ensure consumers abide with the takeaway only directive issued by the government, Jerilderie Bakery has boldly removed all furniture from its dining space.

“We have removed all tables and chairs from our restaurant and we will continue to stay open until told otherwise by the government,” co-owner Rachelle Grant said.

“We've been quite busy with our takeaway service with lots of caravan owners stopping on their way home.

“For the time being, our opening hours haven't changed but there's a lot of unknown with if we're going to get shut down or not.”