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Businesses taking a hit

KISMET Cafe manager Saynor Mehmed, with staff Elisha Pradhan and Jun Lee, says her business is down 50 per cent in the wake of Coronavirus or Covid-19 fears, and they are not alone.

Businesses taking a hit


MAKING its presence known in the community, the Coronavirus or COVID-19 has impacted on local businesses in vastly different ways, with some reeling from a devastating lack of support while others are enjoying a customer rush like never before.
Describing it as eerie and like nothing he has ever experienced, John Pollicina first noticed it last weekend when he opened a house for inspection in which there had been a lot of interest.

“I was expecting dozens of groups at the open house,” the First National Waters & Carpenter sales manager explained.
“But instead, there were just three people.
“Our rentals and sales are very slow too and Monday morning, one of the busiest times of our week, was dead.
“We should have bitten the bullet earlier and made everyone have a two-week holiday at home. Now it’s like a slow death and we are fighting over toilet paper rolls.
“Australia’s borders should also have been closed straightaway.”
Phillip Daidone Realty’s Frank La Malfa agrees the market has slowed a bit.
“But we’re still getting a lot of numbers through the door; people still need somewhere to live,” he said.
The local food and beverage sector is also taking a hit, with Kismet Cafe owner Saynor Mehmed saying there has been a 50 per cent reduction in customers.
“There has been a huge impact over the last fortnight,” she said.
“We’re usually packed but now there’s a lot of empty seats and less shifts going to staff. But we’re taking steps to protect staff and customers by keeping hand sanitisers on every table; these are the highly effective sanitisers that last for seven days.
“It’s a very unfortunate time for businesses.”
Berala Kebab owner Nev Aslan is not worried, though, and feels like the public needs to relax.
“There may be a few less coming in but we’ve still got a lot of our elderly customers having coffee and a meal and I tell them not to worry, the situation will get better,” he said.
Granville Diggers’ Rowan Easterbrook says numbers seem to be down at the club too, however with the buffet recently closed, that could also be making an impact.
“Bingo here is still very popular; our Bingo players are hardy people,” he said.
Merrylands RSL Group Operations Manager David Kim said: “We have noticed a downturn in trade in particular the last few weeks.
“Our members, guests and employees’ safety and well-being is our highest priority.
“We are taking precautionary measures to provide a safe and clean environment.
“We are informing and educating staff and our patrons on higher levels of expected hygiene for the protection of everyone.”