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July 28, 2022

Small businesses need your support

While restrictions have eased, the weight of the pandemic on small businesses has not fully lifted just yet. CBD traders share how you can continue to show your support in the long haul.

  • This article was produced in collaboration with the Government of South Australia.
  • Above: NOLA in the East End

Small businesses are the heart and soul of the city.

According to the ABS, they make up almost 98 per cent of all businesses, nearly 40 per cent of the workforce and account for more than a quarter of wages and salaries in SA.

The pandemic has put heavy pressure on this sector, but as restrictions have been wound back, some sense of normality has returned.


Read related story:
The domino effect of shopping locally.

However, in chatting to our friends in the local hospitality community, CityMag has discovered we’re not out of the woods just yet.

Given the current number of COVID cases causing widespread staff shortages, local businesses continue to need your support and are offering some advice on what you can do to help.

Coffylosophy owner Harsh Mehta echoes the message being pleaded from all corners of the city: “Go out and support all the small businesses around you,” he says.

“More so now than ever, we need your support to survive and grow.”

Harsh says simply coming in and spending your money with small businesses makes a big difference.

“Consciously buy local stuff as much as you can,” he says.

“It’s really important to go out and support small businesses around you, be it a café, local newsagency, butcher or grocery store – these people contribute to the majority of the local Australian economy.

“Even if it’s buying something small or purchasing gift vouchers to use in the future, just make sure that you’re supporting them on a regular basis.”

Hutt Street café Coffylosophy


The Hutt Street café is one of many traders that adjusted their business model throughout the height of COVID restrictions, introducing an online click and collect system which remains in place today.

“If you don’t have time to wait or want to avoid crowds, you can order online and then come and pick it up,” he says.

“We’re still doing UberEats too. Yes, it takes away a big chunk of our earnings, but it means we can expand our dining room to a lot of people who can’t come in physically.

“There’s more opportunity now than ever to support local businesses.”

Harsh says even a little smile can go a long way.

“Just by keeping up that smiling face, it keeps workers wanting to come in so they can see those happy faces every day.”

Over to NOLA in the East End, co-director Oliver Brown says visiting the bar throughout the week makes a big difference.


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“City venues need support outside of just Friday and Saturday nights,” Oliver says.

“People need to get back into the city. It’s vital to have a thriving and buzzing CBD, and hospitality is at the heart of this.”

While COVID has been challenging for NOLA, which is a part of Adelaide hospitality group The Big Easy Group, Oliver says support from customers and funding grants have made a big difference.

Not only have they helped keep the bar afloat, but also allowed them to support the live music industry with artists playing regularly at the venue.

“NOLA has always supported live music; it’s part of what we do,” Oliver says.

“The artists have become part of the family and the ability for us to support them at a greater level has been huge for us.

“The CBD is the beating heart of culture in the state and it’s so important that people continue to show support.”

Part Time Lover co-owners Luke Turton and Josh Baker


Luke Turton, co-owner of Pilgrim Lane bar and restaurant Part Time Lover, says it’s the little things like making conversation with staff that can translate into support.

“Off the cuff here, I recommend introducing yourself,” he says.

“Being a part of this society and chatting while waiting for your takeaway coffee – it is so important.”

Luke says supporting local businesses and doing so kindly makes a big difference.

“COVID has brought resilience and confidence to Part Time Lover,” he says.

“It has shown that all the beauty a city can offer should never be taken for granted and it helped us understand how vital nuance and kindness is.

“With all the stress that is out there, let’s try and look after each other. Support is tangible even when you’re not allowed to touch.”

Last month the Government of South Australia launched a Support Small Business campaign to highlight just how critical these businesses are in contributing to the state’s economy and employment growth.

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