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Small Town Pioneers – Again

Don't let the empty street fool you. Beaufort is far from being in hibernation, with business forging ahead in new ways. Photo eCommunity Press.

In this time of lockdown, businesses across Australia are coping to stay afloat as best they can.

Some have decided to shut their doors, others have come up with innovative ways to stay afloat until we return to ‘normal’.

Cities, like Ballarat, have a population that should be able to sustain those who are still trading but what are businesses in smaller country towns doing who rely, to an extent, on visitors and passing traffic?

They, too, have become pioneers of our current ‘brave new world’.

Sarah Beaumont from the Beaufort Progress Association says that on the whole the town is coping well with the lockdown.

“They (businesses) are trying really hard,” she said.

“There have been a few that have closed down for the period that this lockdown is happening and probably just taking  a holiday break but most of them have made a massive effort and there are some fantastic take-aways happening.”

One of these is the Beaufort Town Market, which is run by the Progress Association, and has been moved to an on-line market.

“This is one thing that we have been able to do to help vendors,” Ms Beaumont added.

She cites the Beaufort Park Café as a doing a massive turnaround from serving coffee, cake and lunch to opening at nights with an Asian take-away menu.

“I think the town was desperate for something like this, before, and he is doing so well and has cleverly put in a twist into introducing something which wasn’t here before,” Ms Beaumont said.

“Both of the hotels have moved to take-aways from their bottle shops, so you can pick up food as well as your bottle of wine etc.

“Others have changed, as well, such as Café 56, which has gone in for pizzas – lots of really good things happening.”

And businesses are getting fantastic support from the local community, Ms Beaumont explained.

While the vibe in town may be quiet and subdued – only those needing to go to visit the doctor, pharmacy, feed store or supermarket – the mood is positive and people are wanting to make sure that local businesses stay afloat.

“Council is doing what it can and everybody is helping one another, which is good, there is a good community spirit,” Ms Beaumont said.

“And when this is all over we would welcome visitors to come back to our town.”

The Beaufort Virtual Market can be accessed via: beaufortprogress.org.au which will have a link to the Beaufort Town Market.

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