As the fires across Southern NSW and Victoria continue to rage, airports close and the air carries a thick blanket of smoke, while Australians are left feeling once again helpless at the sight of nature and the perpetual loss of lives, homes, wildlife, businesses and land.
As of January 14th 2020, 46.03 million acres has burnt or continues burning across Australia. The University of Sydney estimates that over half a BILLION animals have been lost since September, with the number still growing. 2,176 homes have been destroyed in NSW alone. 25 lives have been lost. For businesses affected, it is unknown when trade will return to normal.
The unfathomable continues and we are almost numbed by this somewhat apocalyptic nightmare; but not yet.
As anticipated, the Aussie spirit hasn’t wavered. While it may appear as though we currently reside in the not-so-lucky country, our deep respect for this land holds fort; a silent understanding, an unspoken truth that cannot be broken – or burnt. As land and fire go to war, we have risen above the fear in ways that deliver all kinds of happy tears.
I know that when I speak with friends, family and neighbours, we are all compelled to help, beyond the donations we’ve already made.
As a group of business owners at Navig8Biz, we feel the call to help those who have lost their businesses. In particular, we are drawn to the businesses that remain standing in fire-affected areas, as their owners struggle to sustain income and rebuild in the aftermath.
To those business owners, please know this: we haven’t forgotten you.
We’ve collated some simple steps to help you get back on your feet. By implementing these strategies, we hope your business will not only survive, but thrive.
YOUR BUSHFIRE BUSINESS SURVIVAL GUIDE
– Make it as easy as possible for people to spend money with you, regardless of their location.
– Create a voucher system; set up the voucher itself and make it available to anyone.
– Get Afterpay.
– Have a cardless eftpos terminal whereby payments can be made via phone.
– Get online and sell via a website.
– Get on your social channels (or someone else’s) and let people know you are there.
– If you have any questions, please contact us directly for free mentoring. We will do everything we can.
As a company, Navig8Biz has raised over $10,000 and we continue to raise funds every day. For the rest of January, 100% of profits from any course sold will go to @redcrossau. We have also purchased directly from stores to help those who need it the most.
With this in mind, we have also created a list of actionable yet simple ways in which we can all help. I’m guessing if you’re reading this, you are compelled to help in the same way that we are.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
– Keep the conversation going. The embers will fall long after the fires have been put out.
– Leave water outside for birds and wildlife.
– Shout a coffee for Firies and those in need.
– Join the Animal Rescue for Knitters and Crafters
– Raise funds – use a talent, bake, hold an event!
– Join the sewing effort and make pouches for affected wildlife.
– Forward this article to anyone whose business has been affected. Navig8Biz is offering free mentoring and we want to help.
– Sell your unwanted items or unworn clothes on eBay or Gumtree to donate cash.
– The most simple and effective way to help is via monetary donations.
– Purchase directly from businesses who are affected. Stock up on gifts for the year ahead! Check out @spendwiththem
– Check out this article for a list of brands who are donating proceeds of sales.
– Have or know anyone with vacant property? List it on Airbnb.
– The FindABed initiative aims to link up people who have a spare bed or a safe place for animals to stay with someone who needs somewhere to sleep.
– If you’d like to donate goods, contact your local council or the not-for-profit fundraising platform GIVIT.
– With 17 wineries directly affected by fire, Good Pair Days has launched an initiative selling special gift boxes of wines to help with the rebuilding that lies ahead.
While we may only be scratching the surface, collectively, we are making a difference.
Let our Aussie comrades know: You are not alone. Let’s make a difference.
Words by Leah Elson for Navig8Biz