After a year of bad luck for small businesses at ANU, it seems as though things are starting to look up. Most of the businesses in Kambri have adapted to the issues presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, altering menus and opening hours to stay afloat, with many slowly seeing revenue for the first time since shutdown.
The start of the year saw bushfires, smoke and hailstorms threaten Kambri businesses’ ability to remain open. The ensuing pandemic threw yet another problem at these businesses, forcing all shops and cafes in the Kambri precinct to close during the four month University shutdown.
Since the re-opening of the campus, many businesses are steadily regaining their customer flow and revenue. Badger & Co has been successful since re-opening. It attributes its success from a significant reduction in prices of drinks, aiming to appeal to the University audience. A staff member at Badger & Co has said that it is currently doing better than what it was at one point last year.
On a similar trend, Coffee Lab has maintained a steady stream of business. It’s turnover has remained largely the same since the University has re-opened, however, it has a smaller menu that aims to reduce costs and simplify stock orders.
Milligram has re-opened with shorter hours, 9am-3pm, and is offering cheaper Belgian hot chocolates as a part of its re-opening special. According to a staff member, the usually busy business has seen slow traffic through its doors, however this has been slowly increasing as more shops re-open on campus.
An ANU spokesperson commented on the University’s response in supporting businesses, stating that it “has been very active in engaging with all campus tenants since early this year across the course of the smoke, bushfires, hail storm and COVID-19.” The spokesperson said that it has “made significant offers in their rent provisions – offering all tenants 7-months rent free from January to July 2020 and a reduced rate thereafter – engaging with tenants one-on-one with their own circumstances and leases.”
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