Continuing Trade and Considerations Moving Forward Regarding COVID-19
Amidst the acute health crisis we're all experiencing at the moment, we have made the decision to continue trading in our open-air, well-ventilated space at Bulli Showgrounds.
We have been liaising with council and the management at the Showgrounds in order to stay up to date with the latest recommendations and restrictions that are in place and how they effect essential v. non-essential services.
Naturally, we have received a lot of feedback from the community and stall holders alike. We respect each and every one of the opinions that were expressed to us, and feel an open letter to our people and the wider community who patronise the market. Moving forward the team and I have decided that our focus will adhere to the strict purview 'food markets' fall under. With so many market closures in the Illawarra region, many business have no choice but to continue to trade by any means necessary.
Circumstances become more dire everyday, and until a legitimate safety net is offered to the Australian public; small businesses will continue to seek to earn an income. However, the priority and focus must always remain of the preservation and protection of human life. And we know that hosting a market in these times may not seem ideal - it may not even seem smart - but we are doing what we can to support those who have supported our enterprise in the time when they need it most.
However, as the situation and legislation regarding COVID-19 changes every day, if not every hour, we are formulating a contingency by way of an online virtual market place where shoppers can choose to purchase there essentials from the safety of their own home. We are yet to parse out the legitimacy of offering delivery; in favour of contactless grab and go collection, however if the demand is there the team and I will endeavour to explore every possibility with the patrons and small businesses around us.
We also want to stress that our market is a low-foot traffic event, and for those of you didn't shop with us last week - the protocols we have already implemented are encouraging. Each stall is limited to one staff member per 3 x 3 allocation. Each stall is offered an extra 3 x 3 space to allow for the observance of social distancing; all stall holders are required to use gloves, certified masks, sanitiser, and hand washing practices whilst trading. We are also constantly communicating with our stall holders to remind them of the importance of the practices, as well as our most important requirement - 'if you feel sick; stay home'.
The market is also limiting foot traffic. Once the threshold of approximately 300-400 is reached the gates are closed until the number reflects lower occupancy. Our hot food vendors are encouraging take-away only, fresh produce travels low food miles and is handled by very few people before arriving at market, and all vendors are now required to have tap and go facilities onsite in order to continue our commitment to stymying the need for person to person contact.
As I previously mentioned, every opinion that has been expressed to us is entirely valid. However, to those of you who felt the need to express your opinions with aggression, rather than information to support your point of view, please know that you aren't - in any way - helping the situation. You aren't achieving any kind of victory by ignorantly attacking those trying to adapt to a constantly changing and monumentally unstable word. But this is said without judgement; for anger comes from fear, and being fearful is something we can all understand at this time. In my last statement I said that even in the unknown and uncertain we can find hope. I still believe that to be true; and I will forge ahead confident in that belief for as long as I can.
Thanking you for your understanding and patience,
'Bulli Showground Markets'