Businesses tap into $750 subsidy
A $750 subsidy to help businesses with online sales and marketing during the COVID-19 pandemic has already made a difference for Yeppoon’s Christopher and Debbie Duane.
The husband and wife team own and operate gift shop Coastal Funk at Anzac Parade, and are full of praise for the Livingstone Shire Council initiative.
“We’re ramping up our social media and website thanks to this subsidy, and when you’re not an expert in this area, it’s a huge help when you’re trying to slog it out in business,” Mr Duane said.
Mr Duane said the couple had operated Coastal Funk for nine years and the past five of those had been tough for retailers in the area.
“It has been difficult times since the cyclone (2015) and things have never really recovered,” Mr Duane said.
“Death by a thousand cuts I call it.
“After the cyclone we had the mining downturn, and the drought really started to kick in, and then bushfires and now this (COVID-19).
“It has been a time where we’ve had to learn to adapt and change, and do whatever we can to stay in business.”
Mr Duane said thanks to Livingstone’s subsidy, he had been able to engage two experts to help with Coastal Funk’s website and social media.
“It’s helping us get to a point where it’s making a real difference.”
Coastal Funk specialises in unique fashion, gifts, homewares and decor to name just a few things.
“We make all of our aromatics, candles and stuff, and a lot of those are named after our local area,” Mr Duane said.
“We’ve made specific fragrances like Keppel Moon, Yeppoon Sunrise, Cap Coast Cooler and Byfield Rainforest, so we’re promoting the region as well.
“And people have got to know us because they know how passionate we are about the area.”
Coastal Funk is open seven days a week and if you cannot make it to the shop you can also make purchases online.
“The only times we close are basically Anzac Day and Christmas Day,” Mr Duane said.
“The foot traffic has obviously dropped off in the current situation and our website and social media has been what has kept things going.
“People can buy products from our website and we can send or deliver anything to them.
“Any purchases over $50 it’s free delivery in the Yeppoon region or shipping within Australia.”
On Monday a Livingstone Shire Council spokeswoman said so far, 20 businesses had registered for the $750 subsidy.
The deadline for businesses to apply is Friday.
More information can be found on Livingstone Shire Council’s website.