We are here: Murraylands businesses band together in face of coronavirus

"Hey guys," begins the video, in a message echoed by the owners of dozens of Murraylands businesses.

We know times are tough, it continues, but we are still here and together we can get through this challenging time.

The Regional Development Australia (RDA) Murraylands and Riverland video has reached almost 30,000 people since being posted on Facebook last Thursday.

The inspiring clip was the idea of Murray Bridge salon owner Megan Kerley.

"The idea was to promote confidence and positivity, to let people know we're still here and we're still okay," she said.

Her clients and staff had been living in fear since the coronavirus arrived in South Australia, she said, and that fear had crippled the rural city in a matter of weeks, contributing to the loss of almost half of her business' income.

"Something in me said 'we've got to stop this'," she said.

"I didn't see one bit of positive feeling around at that point.

"I thought 'someone has got to create a change' ... and it's like that saying: we can be that change we want to see."

Megan Kerley, of Murray Bridge's Hishigata Concept Salon, first had the idea of businesses collaborating on a video that would promote a bit of positivity in the Murraylands. Photo: Hishigata Concept Salon.

Megan Kerley, of Murray Bridge's Hishigata Concept Salon, first had the idea of businesses collaborating on a video that would promote a bit of positivity in the Murraylands. Photo: Hishigata Concept Salon.

Ms Kerley phoned Courtney Blacker at local PR agency Commshake, who passed the idea on to the RDA's Ben Fee.

"Straight away I thought it was amazing, such a good thing for us to be doing," Mr Fee said.

"We're moving into a world of social distancing and working from home, which means we're kept apart, but we've still got these platforms that can stir the emotions.

"We're not just businesses; we're people with lives.

"I'd suggest feeling supported, being supportive, being here to help and being generous is more important than ever.

"It's that kind of stuff that will get people through."

As well as promoting positive sentiments, RDA has used the video to highlight a survey it is doing, gathering information about the impact the pandemic has had on businesses around the region.

Only about 60 of the 6500 in the Murraylands and Riverland had responded by Wednesday; he hoped that number would rise into the hundreds.

"People (in government) really want data, they really want to know what's going on out there," he said.

"That data we're gathering is going to governments that are far more responsive than they've ever been, and we're seeing shifts like Jobkeeper (the payment for workers whose businesses have lost more than 30 per cent of their revenue) as a result."

Given South Australians' commitment to social distancing in recent weeks, Ms Kerley hoped the crisis would come to an end sooner here than elsewhere.

"As long as we maintain it, as long as we don't get slack and drop off, we can win the war, so to speak," she said.

And if you really like surveys...

ACM, the company which owns this news website, is also circulating its own survey about the coronavirus downturn.

Complete the survey before Easter Monday, April 13, for your chance to win one of three $200 EFTPOS cards.

This story 'We are here': businesses band together in face of coronavirus first appeared on The Murray Valley Standard.

Comments