From the Newsroom

Photo 2: Local business owners Darlene and Brendan Watkins of BLW Goldsmith and Jeweller in Yamba, are happy to be welcoming customers once again after lockdown was lifted. Image: Fran Dowsett

Back to business after lockdown lifts

Emma Pritchard

After placing their livelihoods on hold for several weeks, Clarence Valley business owners are thrilled and ecstatic as they open their doors to their valued customers once again, greeting them with sincere smiles of gratitude and appreciation beneath their face masks as together, they put another frustrating lockdown behind them, and take a commercial step towards a brighter future.

While essential services such as pharmacies, newsagencies and medical clinics were allowed to continue operating during lockdown, albeit under tighter restrictions, and cafes and restaurants remained open for takeaway, other businesses including fashion boutiques and jewellers were forced to shut their doors until the NSW Government announced the lockdown would be lifted across several regional areas, including the Clarence Valley, late last week.

Referring to lockdown as a difficult time, proprietor of Clovelly Fashions in Maclean Bev Anderson, graciously said her business has built up “a wonderful local clientele”, and she is extremely happy to be welcoming customers again. 

Photo 1: Maclean business proprietor Bev Anderson of Clovelly Fashions is extremely happy lockdown has ended, and she is especially thankful to her loyal clientele for their dedicated support. Image: Ann Mazzitelli

Describing a majority of her clientele as elderly residents and young families who like to shop locally, Ms Anderson is thankful to the Clarence Valley community for their ongoing support as she focuses positively on the future, in particular the upcoming Christmas trade.

“I am relieved and happy to have my business open again, and to see my regular clientele come back,” she said appreciatively.

“In Maclean, our community is very supportive of one another, especially the businesses.

“We all look out for each other, and we’ve supported each other through these very difficult situations too.

“I think we’re all happy to be welcoming our clientele again.”

Further along the Clarence River, Yamba businesses are also elated to be open once again, especially Brendan and Darlene Watkins of BLW Goldsmith and Jeweller, who were inundated with customers on September 13, their first full day back at work following the end of lockdown.

As numerous customers sought new batteries for their watches while others brought in rings for resizing and chains for repairs, Ms Watkins said she and Brendan are grateful to have their business open again.

“Business was pretty much non-existent during last few weeks,” she said.

“But it’s so wonderful that lockdown has ended, and we are open again.

“We are so grateful to the Yamba community who show us a lot of support, and all of the businesses here support each other as well.

“We all shop locally, we go to local cafes for our lunches, it’s a wonderful network and it’s great to be open again and see other businesses open again too.”