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Businesses unite to conquer COVID-19

Posted: 2pm 04 Jun 2020

Businesses finding their way through the COVID-19 fallout are forging connections, leaning on each other and using an online portal to access the latest information.

It’s heartening for Howard Nielsen, the man behind the portal and the strengthening bonds across the Moreton Bay Region.

The Samford Village resident and business consultant is no stranger to bringing like-minded business owners together, forming the Samford Sustainability Business Precinct a few months before COVID-19 hit.

So, when businesses were forced to close due to government restrictions, he and his team knew they needed help to navigate the new regulations and to see through the COVID-19 fog.

“When it hit, we thought business needs some support here,” he recalls.

Howard says information was scattered and was mostly about government funding available, government policy and some resources.

“We wanted to create a one-stop shop,” he says.

What they did

Howard and his team created the Conquering COVID website, which brings all that information together in the one place and includes practical tips on buying locally, working from home, staying sane in isolation and reframing your business for a post-COVID world.

It was possible thanks to funding from RDA Moreton Bay, the State Government, Sustainable Startup Hub and Green Street.

“Never has there been a more important time to act out all that is the true meaning of ‘It takes a village’. We are indeed all in this together and as a community, nation and planet we will only be as strong as our weakest link. Let us continue to be strong, be informed, be wise, be respectful and be kind,” he says.

In addition to the website, Howard has used his team's connections to find mentors people in business can call on if they need someone to talk to. There’s more than 30 businesses involved.

“They’re happy to be an ear for another business. It was more around getting people to understand that there’s a lot of people out there in the same boat and situation,” he explains.

By supporting each other, they’ll get through it.

Howard says the website is a practical example of what’s possible when people come together to address a need.

It’s so far had just under 4000 unique browsers and 70,000 page impressions.

“We’ve had some great feedback from other hubs in other parts of the state. They’ve realised it wasn’t just for Moreton Bay,” he says.

The to-do lists and messaging are relevant for anyone in business, anywhere in Australia.

Key messages for business

  • Work as a collective – call your business partners and networks regularly for their benefit and your own
  • Be kind to each other in your community and even more so to the most vulnerable
  • Do more business with other local businesses
  • Share information with businesses and the community on how to conquer COVID
  • Sponsor, if you can, the work being done by groups and businesses in the community to conquer COVID
  • Take a fun initiative and share it – an online quiz started by a gym in the community is being tried in at least one village
  • Join the community connecting ideas of ‘teddy bear on the front fence or front window’ or ‘fairy lights to join our houses, shops and neighbourhoods’ to show solidarity in conquering COVID
  • Connect with your Sustainable Business Precinct if you have one
  • Be aware of what the latest neuroscience says – we are more likely to take on new ways of doing things and act collectively if we: are treated fairly; feel like we are on the same page as others; feel we have increased autonomy to act individually and as part of a collective; feel there is increased certainty that if we act in a particular way that it will have a good outcome; feel an increased sense of self-fulfilment through what we choose to do; and feel appreciated for what we have already done.
  • Be happy to help and be helped

Want to know more about Conquering COVID? Visit the website.

For the latest news and updates, head to our blog.

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