Lori and Jason McPherson of CPM Engineering
Lori and Jason McPherson of CPM Engineering

20 Gympie businesses that have boomed despite COVID crisis

CORONAVIRUS has brought with it some unquestionably tough times for Gympie region businesses.

Why business post-COVID is good news for Gympie jobs

We have seen many of our favourite eateries, coffee shops, gyms, pubs, salons, public hangouts and more forced to close their doors.

Some have even had to say a permanent goodbye.

But it hasn’t been quite as bleak for others, who have somehow found a way to flourish despite exhaustive social distancing restrictions in place since March.

Here’s a look at 20 local businesses who have gone from strength to strength despite the crisis, helping give the community hope for brighter days ahead.

Jason McPherson of CPM Engineering
Jason McPherson of CPM Engineering

1. CPM Engineering

PROVING that there is opportunity in any crisis, Gympie firm CPM Engineering has grabbed the COVID-19 lockdown and turned it into profits, jobs and new services – in the form of CPM Hydraulics.

The customers will be farmers, earthmovers, truckies – people who generally do not have time for the delays often associated with equipment failure.

More to come online with The Gympie Times on Monday.

Ray Brinkworth of CPM Engineering
Ray Brinkworth of CPM Engineering

2. The Real Body Movement

When gym doors shut in March, Fiona and Matt Keable worked hard to

grow their personal training model in the social distancing environment with a permanent online roster of classes.

And that new era is set to continue beyond the gym’s long-awaited reopening.

Fiona and Matt Keable, founders and head coaches of The Real Body Movement – Picture: Shane Zahner
Fiona and Matt Keable, founders and head coaches of The Real Body Movement – Picture: Shane Zahner

MORE HERE

3. Cooloola Fitness Centre

Owner and head trainer Matt Stallmann found a way to get around the virus challenge by creating a Facebook group — MS Family Home Wellbeing Program — comprising a 21-day challenge with daily videos.

His idea soon moved beyond Queensland’s borders and accumulated members by the hundreds.

Cooloola Coast Fitness Centre owner and head trainer Matt Stallmann has a 21 day program which uses your body weight or even everyday object such as a backpack filled with any object from the house for extra weight.
Cooloola Coast Fitness Centre owner and head trainer Matt Stallmann has a 21 day program which uses your body weight or even everyday object such as a backpack filled with any object from the house for extra weight.

MORE HERE

4. Play Back Gympie

Though initially worried by the closure of her retro game arcade, Play Back owner Aisha Belling found a huge silver lining through a sales spike in board games and card games as residents adapted to life in lockdown.

Ms Belling and Play Back struck gold again when an idea to offer showbags for Gympie kids missing this year’s show proved to be increasingly popular, culminating in the “No Show Friday” partnership with fellow Mary St traders Cafe Matisse.

Aisha Belling of Play Back Gympie with a range of showbags for No Show Friday.
Aisha Belling of Play Back Gympie with a range of showbags for No Show Friday.

MORE HERE

5. Gympie Toyworld/Twiga Books

Like Play Back, the team at Toyworld and Twiga Books saw a huge increase in sales for both indoor and outdoor products once coronavirus restrictions set in.

Everything from trampolines, swingsets, craft activities card games and chess were flying out the doors as the region transitioned to the new normal of social distancing.

Twiga Books owner Lorraine Broadley.
Twiga Books owner Lorraine Broadley.

FULL STORY

6. Cafe Matisse

Building on Play Back’s revival of showbags for the region’s younger population, Karen Black and the Cafe Matisse team stepped up to provide the other half of “No Show Friday”.

Offering Dagwood Dogs, steak burgers, fairy floss, slushies and coffee on their special show-themed menu, Ms Black said the cafe had seen hundreds of happy faces through the doors while honouring social distancing restrictions.

Six year old Bethany Fleming enjoying her Dagwood Dog from Cafe Matisse
Six year old Bethany Fleming enjoying her Dagwood Dog from Cafe Matisse

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7. Isobel Lane

Gympie mum Heidi Radecker returned to the region from Launceston, Tasmania earlier this year, bringing her online womenswear business with her.

While she feared the combination of relocation and coronavirus would cause headaches for the business, Mrs Radecker said the supportive community had helped bring about her “biggest two months ever”.

Heidi Radecker of Isobel Lane
Heidi Radecker of Isobel Lane

Gympie mum’s quirky online business goes gangbusters

8. Archie’s Ache-Away

Kia Ora man Ben Blackburn knows all too well the trials of living with pain, so he got creative to come up with a solution in the form of a unique balm comprising four ingredients and two varieties.

Coronavirus hampered his ability to sell at markets, but Mr Blackburn has launched a website to help share his magical creation with the world.

Ben Blackburn, creator of Archie's Ache-Away
Ben Blackburn, creator of Archie's Ache-Away

How Gympie man’s invention cured his crippling pain

9. Kelly & Co Finance

The Kandanga business was this month announced as a finalist in the annual Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) State Excellence Awards.

Kelly & Co earned nods in theQueensland Finance Broker Business Award and Customer Service Business Award categories.

Lindy Kelly from Kelly & Co Finance. Mrs Kelly, a Kandanga local, and her team have been chosen as a state finalist in the MFAA.
Lindy Kelly from Kelly & Co Finance. Mrs Kelly, a Kandanga local, and her team have been chosen as a state finalist in the MFAA.

Valley-run business makes major name for itself

10. Nestle Gympie

The Pine St factory saw a huge increase in demand for their coffee products as grocery sales spiked in response to coronavirus restrictions in April.

READ MORE

11. Envy Hair Design & Spa and Southside Hair Studio

Social distancing spelled disaster for the hair and beauty industries, but at least two Gympie salons found crafty ways to stay on their feet.

Envy Hair Design & Spa began offering online virtual skin consultations, keeping clients home and staying “busier than ever”.

The Southside Hair Studio used the time to reflect, prepare and reopen with a revamped approach at the start of this month.

Envy Hair Design & Spa' owner Alisha Newman.
Envy Hair Design & Spa' owner Alisha Newman.

FULL STORY HERE

12. Gympie Window Tinting and Sign Service

As the newest Anzac Day tradition of decorating wheelie bins for driveway Dawn Services took off, Ivor Kempson got on board and supplied hundreds of orders for locals keen to pay their respects.

Ivor Kempson of Gympie Window Tinting and Sign Services
Ivor Kempson of Gympie Window Tinting and Sign Services

MORE HERE

13. The Queenslander Hotel

One of Gympie’s favourite pubs made the most of extra free time afforded to them by the coronavirus pandemic to make some exciting renovations in anticipation of a grand reopening.

The Queenslander Hotel team, headed by owner Allan Roberts, turned their attention to a host of interior upgrades while the pub doors are closed to the public indefinitely.

Allan Roberts and the Queenslander Hotel team worked hard on some exciting renovations while the coronavirus pandemic shut pubs all over the country.
Allan Roberts and the Queenslander Hotel team worked hard on some exciting renovations while the coronavirus pandemic shut pubs all over the country.

Favourite Gympie pub launches key renovations

14. Baker’s Delight Gympie

New Gympie Bakers Delight owners Chris and Bianca Cairnduff picked a challenging time to go into business, but braved trying conditions to remain open and thriving as an essential industry.

MORE HERE

15. CrossFit Release Gympie

16 hours was all it took for a Gympie fitness centre to go online once restrictions kicked in.

Gympie CrossFit release owner Paul Ross transitioned the gym’s training program online and allowed members to borrow equipment to use indoors.

STRONGER TOGETHER

17. More local personal trainers

Widespread gym closures played havoc on the fitness industry, but Gympie’s community of personal trainers acted quickly to make sure they could help their clients keep fit from home and maintain momentum through the interruptions.

FULL STORY

18. Eat at Candy’s

Candy Waldock was rightly “scared” to take the plunge and open a cafe amid the chaos of coronavirus, but she persevered and got her just rewards with the beginning of a brand new chapter in Mary St.

READ MORE

19. Kiah Park Horse Riding Camp

COVID-19 meant their transition wasn’t quite as smooth as they hoped, but the Keough family still found a way to make their move and embrace their new venture, brimming with excitement and fresh ideas going forward.

The Keough family – Kennedi, Jodi, Bobbi-Tyla, Laine and Kodi-Laine are the new faces of the Kiah Park Horse Riding Camp.
The Keough family – Kennedi, Jodi, Bobbi-Tyla, Laine and Kodi-Laine are the new faces of the Kiah Park Horse Riding Camp.

MORE HERE

20. Cindy Vogels

The star Gympie designer and milliner wasn’t getting her usual calls to create stage-wear and costumes for performing artists.

Cindy Vogels is a milliner, stylist and designer.
Cindy Vogels is a milliner, stylist and designer.

But she soon found a way to stay productive, making headwear for health workers all over the world on the frontline of the battle against coronavirus.

Star designer turns her talent to help fight COVID-19

Do you know of any other Gympie region businesses who have flourished in trying times? Let us know online or email joshua.preston@gympietimes.com.