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Stay safe and shop local

Peter Bottomley, owner Run, Rabbit, Run in Castlemaine looking through COVID-19 business resources with Eva Parkin, Economic Development Officer, Mount Alexander Shire Council.

Council is urging residents and visitors to stay vigilant and continue to support local businesses during COVID-19.

Tuesday 21 July 2020

Mount Alexander Shire Council is urging residents and visitors from regional Victoria to stay vigilant and continue to support local businesses as the number of active COVID-19 cases continues to rise in hotspots in and around Melbourne.

Council’s Economy and Culture Manager David Leathem reminded people to buy local at this crucial time and practice safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Since the restrictions started to ease in June we have been able to start getting back to enjoy the things that make our shire a great place to live,” said Mr Leathem.

“Many businesses including restaurants, cafes, pubs and shops have opened up with practices in place to provide a safe shopping or dining experience, and personal services like massage, health, hair and beauty.

“We’ve also seen local attractions like Castlemaine Art Museum, the Theatre Royal and a range of galleries in towns around the shire start to open up.

“There is always the chance we might need to go back into lock down, so it is vital to support our local businesses and attractions to help keep them afloat during these hard times.

“We know from our conversations with local businesses, and a survey we conducted in May, that they are really hurting and need all the support they can get.

“We also want to remind people to look after each other by following some simple steps to keep our community safe and help protect the most vulnerable.”

Tips include:

  • Be kind – you never know what someone has been through in the past few months
  • Stop and check the number of people allowed in a business before you enter.
  • Wait outside patiently or come back later if they at the maximum limit based on the one person per four square metre rule.
  • Don’t forget to wash or sanitise your hands regularly, and on the way into a business where possible.
  • If you are in a queue - strike up a conversation with a stranger while you keep your distance of at least 1.5 metres.
  • Wear a mask in situations where you can’t maintain the 1.5 metres physical distance.
  • Be patient with the person serving you – businesses are still adjusting to new ways of doing things as we all continue to navigate the changing restrictions.
  • Support local shops, businesses and attractions – think local before ordering online, buy a voucher, make a booking at a local eatery, or visit a local gallery or theatre.
  • Keep up card only payments to help stop the spread.
  • Stay at home and get tested if you show any symptoms of coronavirus.

Council is also encouraging business operators to display Business Victoria’s latest public health posters in store and at points of entry, available from its website. Council is also offering local businesses free floor stickers to encourage social distancing in busy areas.

Council staff will continue conversations directly with local businesses over the next few weeks to see what other support they need. Businesses can also contact Council for support.

“In this rapidly changing environment, our plan is to provide businesses with the support and advice they need in response to the immediate issues they are facing, while working on longer-term strategies to allow our region’s economy to bounce back,” said Mr Leathem.

If anyone is concerned about a suspected breach of public health restrictions contact the Police Assistance Line via 131 444 or www.police.vic.gov.au.

For the latest information on restrictions visit vic.gov.au/CORONAVIRUS.

For information on local business support during COVID-19 or Council’s Environmental Health Guidelines visit www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au/COVID19BusinessSupport.

For access to Council’s COVID-19 support service call 1800 512 446 between 8.30am and 5.00pm (Monday to Friday), email covid19@mountalexander.vic.gov.au or visit www.connectmountalexander.com.au.


Image: L-R, Peter Bottomley, owner Run, Rabbit, Run in Castlemaine looking through COVID-19 business resources with Eva Parkin, Economic Development Officer, Mount Alexander Shire Council.


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