While Australian small businesses face the impacts of COVID-19, many are coming up with innovative ways to adapt and help their customers and the greater community.

We’re supporting them through a number of ways, and we’re calling upon the rest of Australia to support the local businesses in their communities. Here’s a snapshot of how some of our talented Business Awards alumni have pivoted during this challenging time.

From spirits to sanitiser

Southern Wild Distillery - Telstra Business Awards Alumni

With such a high demand for hand sanitiser, we’re seeing many clever distilleries switching their production to fulfil this need.

One of these is Tasmanian-based Southern Wild Distillery, which has sadly been impacted greatly with much of its business connected to bars, clubs and the restaurant industry. But even with all of this going on, distiller George Burgess decided to stop making gin and invest in making hand sanitiser for the community.

Southern Wild has since produced over 1000 litres of hand sanitiser for those most vulnerable in the community, including the aged care sector, homeless shelters and children with immunity issues. It has been inundated with requests for help and is now working with the government to help secure materials to continue production.

Great Southern Distilling Company has also shut down its cellar doors and switched distillery production to developing hand sanitizer for local hospitals, doctors and high-risk community needs.

Manly Spirit Co has also innovated and is now making hand sanitiser, including throwing in a 50mL bottle free with orders.

Adapting to survive and succeed

Active Truth - Nadia Tucker - Telstra Business Awards Alumni

Active Truth, a maker of performance activewear across an inclusive size range, has had to act fast to change its manufacturing processes and how the business is speaking to their community. With many of its fabric suppliers unavailable and offshore production on hold, Active Truth has pivoted to different materials and is focusing on particular styles and designs.

Active Truth has moved a lot of its manufacturing to Australia, and the team have been implementing an alternative marketing strategy with a strong focus on content and collaborations with like-minded brands.

2016 Telstra NSW Business Awards winner Sendle is a competitive mail house that delivers between Australia and the US. As an essential service, Sendle is fully operational and has changed its delivery practices to ensure the safety of recipients by implementing strict health and cleaning protocols and offering contactless delivery.

Since the government announced the closure of all gyms across Australia, 2015 Telstra NSW Start Up Award winner Flow Athletic has pivoted and moved its classes online, so people can still exercise from the comfort of their homes. Flow Athletic is also offering small one-on-one training sessions outdoors.

Since the closure of bars, restaurants and cellar doors, 2013 Telstra Australian Business of the Year Bruny Island Cheese is  now organising delivery boxes with cheese, bread, wine and meat that Hobart area residents can purchase from its website.

2019 Telstra Queensland Small and Succeeding Award winner Street Science performs high energy stage shows and runs engaging hands-on workshops. Normally held at schools, kids parties, shopping centres and community events, it hasn’t been able to run its workshops in person – but it’s now pivoted to holding virtual science lessons through its website.

Street Science - Steve - Telstra Business Awards Alumni