Open for business

Sarah Luke

CLOSURES of some local businesses because of COVID-19 restrictions have made it difficult to identify which are still open to physically visit, which are still operating from an online platform, which are appointment only and which have devastatingly been forced to close.

Businesses lucky enough to still be open are eligible for free stickers to put in their window fronts and online graphics to use on social media, thanks to quick thinking from local business Sale Signtorque.

Attempting to adapt to “the new normal”, the stickers feature the slogans “we are open”, “we are open online” and “we are open by appointment”, with a support local hashtag.

Business owners are also able to download the graphics online for social media.

The aim is to provide some clarity around business arrangements in an upbeat way, and encourage people to shop locally.

There is no limit to the geographic location of businesses to be eligible.

Sale Signtorque’s Nicky Hoernlein said the effects of coronavirus had rippled through everyone – particularly the business community.

“What a confronting two weeks it has been for all of our business community,” she said.

“To witness thriving businesses hit this crisis head-on by being forced to close their doors with new government restrictions is just devastating.”

Sale Signtorque itself is suffering, as customers are forced to withdraw their patronage, such as sports clubs cancelling new season sponsor signage.

“Programs for Gippsland Motocross are not being printed – these are unprecedented times,” Ms Hoernlein said.

“Whilst businesses want to protect their customers and community from the virus, they also need to survive this crisis – we need to create a new normal.

“We still have birthdays to celebrate, people want to exercise from home, we are dining in at home.”

With that in mind, Ms Hoernlein reached out to some local business owners about supplying stickers for their businesses to help keep a positive vibe and spread awareness of what was still open and in need of support.

The idea was gratefully received, and has grown from there.

“At Sale Signtorque, our role is to promote businesses to be present in their brand through design, print and signage.

“Its intention is to share a message of positivity, kindness and to unite us as we are all in this together,” she said.

“Whilst there has been a sudden change of business direction, business owners are using the time to re-calibrate and work on their businesses.”

Ms Hoernlein encouraged people to keep a look out for the #supportlocal sticker, as it was more important than ever to back local businesses.

“Our local community and businesses are always reaching out to help each other,” she said.

“Share your experiences with these businesses with your friends and family.

“Your money will help to keep your friends and family employed.”

Those who would like to obtain a sticker or graphic can email