With the alert level 4 lockdown in place Te Awamutu's businesses have once again had to shut their doors, causing varying degrees of worry and uncertainty for business owners.
"The current lockdown has certainly provided another challenge to our local small businesses as it was implemented with very little warning," says Te Awamutu Chamber of Commerce CEO Kerrianne Krelle
Ingrid Ramsey is only newly self-employed and was supposed to open her food and coffee cart business Doe & Co just days after the lockdown was put in place – now she is concerned about how long her business will survive without generating an income.
"Being a new business that was supposed to start operations three days after the lockdown hit was extremely upsetting," says Ingrid.
And in the midst of a store relocation, co-owner of The CoLab Store, Jo Rusling, says it's a worrying time to be a small business owner.
Down in the South Island, Jo's business partner Tash Graham runs their Queenstown store which has proven to be stressful with no tourists in the area.
Jo is hopeful though that the community will show their support once the lockdown has ended.
"We were incredibly fortunate to have so much community support after the 2020 lockdown so we're sure our wonderful locals will be just as supportive this time around," says Jo.
Currently they are still operating online, customers can make purchases but the items will not be dispatched until alert level 3.
Kathy Kearns, owner of Kathy Cosmetics and Gifts which has recently relocated from Tirau to Te Awamutu, is also eager to get to alert level 3.
Kathy sells her makeup range, plants, crystals, hats, coffee and pastries from her shop.
"I'm very motivated with my business so I'm struggling with the standstill," says Kathy.
"I plan on selling coffee, pastries and breads from the door under alert level 3 restrictions so I'm excited to get started with that."
Her products can also be purchased through her website, but orders will be dispatched also only during alert level 3.
Renee Page, owner of Yoga and Oils, is however embracing the lockdown differently.
"We have had the benefit of coming into this lockdown with awareness for how it rolls, without fear, and unlike last lockdown where I put a huge pressure on myself to make sure our business 'survived', this time we have full trust in our amazing community and the process," says Renee.
She says her biggest worry is the lack of connection and not being able to reach parts of the community that need support.
Instead, she is doing her all to keep connected through social media and online with some free yoga classes.
All these business owners want the community to know there are ways to still support them now by simply showing up on social media and giving them a like – some are even currently running sales and giveaways on these platforms.
"In times like these having a bunch of support on social media gives you a little reassurance," says Ingrid.
And they ask, that when the time comes, that you shop locally and pop in to say hi.
All four businesses have Facebook and Instagram pages and, aside from Doe & Co, the other websites are: