“And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through…you just won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about” Haruki Murakami – Japanese Author

Today, we had the pleasure of hosting a small business Q&A with Josh Wilson MP Federal Member for Fremantle, and Brendan O’Connor MP, Federal Shadow Minister for Small & Family Business, Industry and Employment to hear feedback from local business leaders on COVID-19 and how we map a way forward over the next few months.

The contribution of Chamber members Anna from Artitja Fine Art, Greg from Strange Company and Ronnie Nights, Phillip and Sue from Business Foundations along with Charlotte Osbourne from Born2Swim, Mark Eagleton of VetLink and Jaime Mann- Farrar of Anaes-Assist highlighted the incredible diversity of Fremantle business and the interconnectivity between businesses in our region.

Key issues from the enlightening discussion to take forward are:

  • how we get better at procuring locally within our own businesses, local government and local industry to map a way forward together,
  • further consideration on the logistics with which we roll-out processes such as JobKeeper and small business loan bank guarantees, and how much more effective these processes can be when they fit existing business processes,
  • how crucial our telecommunications and Australia Post infrastructure is this new way of doing business,
  • how the workers compensation impact will be played out in the light of COVID-19 both in terms of impacts of Job Keeper payments on insurance coverage and in terms of the potential definition of COVID-19 as an occupational disease,
  • the role our creative industries in how we build on our communities in the future,
  • how we support those businesses that will still be impacting by social distancing changes well past September – particularly our small bars, hospitality, personal services and health services businesses; and
  • the encouragement of thought leadership to assist businesses across the board to adapt to change, and redesign our business models to navigate their way out of the storm.

It struck me throughout this conversation that Haruki Murakami’s quote applies just as much to business as it does to us as individuals.

We will continue to gather member and business leader’s feedback and the emerging creative ideas for recovery to hopefully assist in quick and evidence based decision making over the next few months.

Over the next few weeks, we are going to create an extension of our Fremantle from the Inside Map and look to profile our local experts in whatever field they are in as part of a gradual campaign to find the links between our membership base. We will create an easy guide and reference tool to profile our membership base that isn’t just a directory, but a guide for giving our business to our community.

We will need your help to do this though so please start to share with us how your business models have changed, when you are open, what you are doing differently and then keep your eyes on our socials (InstagramFacebook and Linkedin), read the member profiles in our Chamber Weekly or phone direct when you are about to procure services to see if a Chamber member can help you.

Please just email membership@fremantlechamber.com.auor call 9335 2711 if you want to put your hand up to procure locally #thisisYOURlocal

Lets start to get enthusiastic about what Fremantle offers as a place to do business in this new world, offers locals as a destination and what adventures we can create in our own workplaces to shift positively to the new people and shiny new businesses we are starting to get ready to re-present to the world.

Finally I encourage each of you to sign up to participate in our next Set the Month in Motion – Mind, Body and Business – as we challenge ourselves to manage our own mental health as business leaders, prepare ourselves for a return to work and think through how we make clear decisions when we are under such pressure. Register NOW.


Read The Chamber Weekly HERE