Show your support: Tamworth businesses rally and adapt
Tamworth businesses are already feeling the effects of the international Covid-19 pandemic, but they are determined to rally and adapt to keep the heart of the city alive.
Sam Rains, executive officer at the Tamworth Business Chamber, said they are using the power of social media to push for locals to support locals.
"#ShareYourSupport is being used by local businesses to promote what procedures they're putting in place to ensure the communities safety through the Covid-19 epidemic, and local consumers are also using the # to show they're supporting local businesses," he said.
"We've seen the power of hashtags through the #BuyFromTheBush, and we believe this is a great idea to help support local businesses.
"The idea being, whenever someone shops at a local business, they take a photo and post it on FB/Insta on their timeline or through their story and tag the business. We're hoping this will spread and show that locals are still supporting locals and will encourage more to do so."
Sharon Tibbs, Oxley Community Transport CEO, and Bernadette Hargrave, the office manager, said they want to utilise their volunteers and vehicles to help isolated people.
"We want to help those who are transport disadvantaged so they need us to take them where they need to go safely," Ms Hargrave said.
"We can even send someone to go with them to assist them."
Ms Tibbs said anyone who wishes to book could call the office on 6762 1122.
"It's a small cost, but if they are financially struggling, we still encourage them to call because we will find a solution," she said.
"We don't want to turn anyone away."
Ms Hargrave said they have had to stop their usual services which included transporting busloads of people to and from social outings.
She added that she has been in the transport industry for 26 years and has never dealt with anything like the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic before.
"We have drivers and vehicles available so we do not see the point of having them just sitting here when we could be giving back," Ms Hargrave said.
The transport service is not the only business stepping up and adapting, Williamsburg is offering delivery in the Tamworth CBD, and Wrap'n'Roll is setting up a "walkie talkie" style walk-through to limit contact for customers.
Businesses are also encouraging customers to use "tap-and-go" instead of cash, are getting staff to wear gloves and are increasing their cleaning.