Businesses come back to life

Angela Goode of the Comb Over and Tony Melrose.

Tumut businesses and shoppers are taking advantage of the freedoms afforded thanks to the lifting of the Covid lockdown in the Snowy Valleys LGA, which came into force 12.01 am on Saturday.

Businesses and shoppers have been cooped up for a month and have taken advantage of the end of lockdown.

Marty Pannell of Marty’s Music School, has been appropriately busy as students grab the opportunity to start learning again.

“I had two lessons today in Batlow and I’ve got eight in Tumut,” he said.

He hasn’t been totally idle since the lockdown of regional NSW was enforced on August 14.

“I’ve had a few zoom lessons, but not many,” he said.

“People want to do music face to face.”

Tumut Toyworld had a “call and collect” system in place during lockdown.

“We would take sales by credit card over the phone, and we had a little table out the front where people could collect their purchases,” owner Kate Eveleigh said.

“It was very difficult. We would get lots of messages on Facebook and phone messages we would have to remember in the morning.”

However, on Saturday, the good old days at the store were back.

“Saturday was absolutely flat out,” she said.

“The kids were excited to come in and get out of the house.”

Customer Jennifer Power was happy for the opportunity to shop in store again.

“It is great, because I have birthdays on,” she said.

“I don’t do online shopping; I like to see things.”

Hairdresser Amanda Goode of The Comb Over has also been flat out.

“We are very, very busy,” she said. “Our clients have been extremely patient and abiding by all the regulations.”

She is not missing the lockdown.

“It was very bad; not good for anyone, but it’s much better now. There are restrictions of the number of people in the shop, so some are waiting for an hour, but everyone is super keen to have a haircut.”

Lisa Hutchins of The Terrace Café said it was really good to be open again.

“It has been nice and steady this morning; all the regulars are back and everyone’s happy so see us open again,” she said.

She also will not miss the lockdown.

“It was the worst holiday ever, although we had all expected it,” she said.

Vi Wood and Marg Bye were among those having a coffee at The Terrace and weren’t taking it for granted.

“It is wonderful,” Mrs Wood said.

“We are making the most of it while it lasts. You never know; you could turn the radio on and it’s over.”

Abbey Footwear has also been busy since reopening.

“We do like meeting our customers again,” proprietor Hansie Armour said.

“The difficulty will be to get our stock; because it was the end of season when we were locked down.

Lockdown wasn’t all bad.

“I caught up with all my bookwork,” Mrs Armour said.

“I had no idea I was so far behind.”

Inside Out co-proprietor Virginia Robinson said Saturday had been busy at the store, but noticed there was a marked difference from normal times when the store is open.

“People were shopping very purposefully,” she said.

“People were doing the right thing; they came in, got what they wanted and left.

She is happy for this to continue, “as long as people are doing the right thing.”

“It is really nice to be actually open,” she said.

“Four weeks is a long time and the hardest thing was trying to generate business without your doors open.”

Catherine French of Catherine Ann’s Beauty Therapy said she was very grateful to be getting back to routine, structure and purpose.

“We are only allowed 5 clients in the salon at one time and it is tricky juggling clients,” she said.

“It is very stressful due to the demand; it is like Christmas and it will be like this through to Christmas. There are those who had appointments previously, and those that want them now.”

The Coffee Pedaler Tumut operations manager Jamie Gibb said things were definitely better since Saturday.

“It’s nice to be open and have staff back on board; and have a bit of normality again,” he said.

“We expect gradual growth to get back to where we were before, especially as restrictions are lessened for people who are double vaccinated. At the moment, a lot of people are visiting family and friends.”

Deb Myers was happy to be there rather than having takeaway at home.

“It is wonderful to be back out and supporting local business and chatting,” she said.

“It’s like heaven.”