20 Gympie businesses that have boomed despite COVID crisis
CORONAVIRUS has brought with it some unquestionably tough times for Gympie region businesses.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
20. Cindy Vogels
The star Gympie designer and milliner wasn’t getting her usual calls to create stage-wear and costumes for performing artists.
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.
Do you know of any other Gympie region businesses who have flourished in trying times? Let us know online or email firstname.lastname@example.org.