COVID-19 business closures came as another blow to Kate and the wider-South coast community. Kate describes the feeling in the community when shops began shutting their doors for the second time in just a few months.
“I shut the shop doors and thought, when am I going to open again? Am I going to be able to open? It’s definitely been a hard one,” she says.
“We had so many businesses shut within the first week of COVID. It's been really hard to watch all these businesses shutting down and never reopening again.”
But while the reality of 2020 has brought some of the biggest challenges yet for small business owners, Kate says the closure period also gave her the time and space to reset her goals and rebuild her website.
“I was going to get it done, I just didn't have a set timeframe. But then I had the shop shut for just over two weeks, so I had that time to break away and regain focus on the business and what I wanted to achieve.
“I definitely think if I didn't have two weeks of shut down time, I wouldn’t have my new logo or the new website.”
A strong sense of community has always been a defining feature of small Australian towns, but Kate says support from across Australia via programs such as Empty Esky and Buy from the Bush has helped her through her toughest year yet.