CAVES CLOSE: The Capricorn Caves will take no more visitors through the popular limestone caves as they close their doors until further notice.
CAVES CLOSE: The Capricorn Caves will take no more visitors through the popular limestone caves as they close their doors until further notice.

Businesses announce closure due to COVID-19

HUNDREDS of businesses have closed their doors across Central Queensland in the past few days, with no expected return until the COVID-19 pandemic has run its course and Australian Government restrictions are lifted.

Corporations, business owners and employers are all taking the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus and, as the number of cases continues to climb across our region, we are seeing more and more businesses calling it quits for the short term.

While the full financial impact of the outbreak on all local businesses is yet to be realised, Capricorn Caves manager Amanda Hinton and her team have packed up their hiking boots and torches, after making the decision to place public tours through their impressive limestone cave system on hold for the immediate future.

Amanda said, with the incoming restrictions from the government and in the best interest of the community, they closed to the public immediately until further notice, with staff still contactable via email.

“We are very proud of all of our team who have handled this very difficult time with great dignity, and we thank each and every one of them,” Amanda said.

“We look forward to the day we are able to reopen our gates and once again provide memorable experiences for our local community and visitors from around the world.”

Despite the devastation overwhelming local businesses at this time, under the restricted measures, cafes and restaurants in a position to offer takeaway and delivery services are permitted to remain open.

There are now more than 200 businesses across the Capricorn Coast, Rockhampton and Central Highlands regions that have modified their menus and are producing amazing dishes for people to enjoy at home.

Waterline Restaurant head Chef Matt Smith said he was proud to be continuing to serve his award-winning dishes and would not be compromising any standard of quality, despite being forced to provide meals in takeaway containers.

“Our signature meals across breakfast, lunch and dinner are all on offer so we are encouraging locals to take home their favourite meal with a coffee, a bottle of wine or six pack of beer, to support local business and enjoy the experience of dining out while not being able to actually do so,” he said.

Businesses working in the takeaway and delivery space are currently being compiled and listed on the website – for the community to access, and is being updated constantly as required.

Additionally, any cafes, restaurants or other businesses who are providing options for meals are encouraged to promote their product through the ‘Support Local, Buy Local’ Facebook page which now has almost 4000 members.

Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll said, amid the current emergency encircling this new era in history, Capricorn Enterprise continued to work around the clock with local business and industry to ensure that the most up-to-date information was being provided.

“We are speaking regularly with our members and supporting them through this very tough time,” said Mary Carroll, CEO Capricorn Enterprise.

“And while some businesses are feeling the pressure and having to close their doors, we are also speaking with a number of innovative owners who are finding opportunities to change the way they conduct business.”

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