Merimbula is getting back to business

Social Distancing Signs

Merimbula is getting back to business in May with the Chamber of Commerce working with retailers to get shops open again.

The reality is that retail shops were never forced to close, although many chose to close due to fears around the Coronavirus, trying to protect their staff, manage social distancing guidelines, or some closing due to the lack of trade.

With the NSW Premier confirming in a press release on April 28 that “There have never been restrictions in NSW on what people can and cannot buy, however there may be increased retail activity, with some businesses choosing to re-open. It is important these shops maintain social distancing and hygiene requirements” this clearly paves the way for retailers to start trading again.

The Chamber of Commerce held an online meeting on Tuesday 28th to discuss the plan and Chamber Vice President Tania Dywer has been in contact with a lot of their members who are retailers to get their feedback about opening, which has been very positive.

“Of course as a Pharmacist I am acutely aware of the need for us all to maintain social distancing to prevent any further outbreak of the Covid 19 virus, but if our retailers and customers follow the guidelines there is no reason why our shops shouldn’t be open again.”

The Chamber wants to provide retailers with all the information they need so they can manage their business safely and within the guidelines and are providing links to the official government information on our website.

How to protect your customers and staff
How to Calculate the Four square metre rule
Safework Australia – Covid 19 Resource Kit

Local company Wilson Signs is producing signage to assist retailers with Social Distancing guidelines as well.

But it’s not just the retailers that need to comply with guidelines, it’s the public too, and the NSW Public Health order Stay at Home Rules state that people can leave their home to “Shop for food or other goods and services” as long as they maintain social distancing as well.

Some retailers are looking to reopen as early as Friday, with most retailers that were contacted saing they would be looking to at reopen by Monday 4 May. Whilst each stores opening hours will vary, depending on their individual situations the Chamber is encouraging stores to at least open from 10am – 1pm from Monday to Friday and see how things progress from there.

Ms Dwyer said, “I have spoken to at least 15 retailers who will be looking to open from next week and if you add to that, the stores that are already open, the town should start to look like we are open again. “

Chamber President Nigel Ayling said, “We understand that we need to progress cautiously and we are not past this health crisis yet, but we do need to help support our local businesses. All of our businesses were deeply affected by the fires, and then to follow that up with the Corona crisis has been devastating. Hopefully as the shops reopen, locals will get out and support our businesses so we can begin to rebuild a stronger town centre.”

Check the Our Merimbula Facebook Page for updates on which retailers that are open,