Businesses finding their way through the COVID-19 fallout are forging connections, leaning on each other and using an online portal to access the latest information.
It’s heartening for Howard Nielsen, the man behind the portal and the strengthening bonds across the Moreton Bay Region.
The Samford Village resident and business consultant is no stranger to bringing like-minded business owners together, forming the Samford Sustainability Business Precinct a few months before COVID-19 hit.
So, when businesses were forced to close due to government restrictions, he and his team knew they needed help to navigate the new regulations and to see through the COVID-19 fog.
“When it hit, we thought business needs some support here,” he recalls.
Howard says information was scattered and was mostly about government funding available, government policy and some resources.
“We wanted to create a one-stop shop,” he says.
Howard and his team created the Conquering COVID website, which brings all that information together in the one place and includes practical tips on buying locally, working from home, staying sane in isolation and reframing your business for a post-COVID world.
It was possible thanks to funding from RDA Moreton Bay, the State Government, Sustainable Startup Hub and Green Street.
“Never has there been a more important time to act out all that is the true meaning of ‘It takes a village’. We are indeed all in this together and as a community, nation and planet we will only be as strong as our weakest link. Let us continue to be strong, be informed, be wise, be respectful and be kind,” he says.
In addition to the website, Howard has used his team's connections to find mentors people in business can call on if they need someone to talk to. There’s more than 30 businesses involved.
“They’re happy to be an ear for another business. It was more around getting people to understand that there’s a lot of people out there in the same boat and situation,” he explains.
By supporting each other, they’ll get through it.
Howard says the website is a practical example of what’s possible when people come together to address a need.
It’s so far had just under 4000 unique browsers and 70,000 page impressions.
“We’ve had some great feedback from other hubs in other parts of the state. They’ve realised it wasn’t just for Moreton Bay,” he says.
The to-do lists and messaging are relevant for anyone in business, anywhere in Australia.
Want to know more about Conquering COVID? Visit the website.