Can you introduce yourself & the business?
Hi, I am Kerrie from Bubba Pizza in Waurn Ponds. I have owned this store for the past 14 years, so I have seen some good times and some challenging times. Nothing to compare to what businesses are going through now.
I currently have 20 staff made up mostly of school kids and uni students.
We focus on providing good product at affordable prices to a wide community.
How has COVID-19 affected your business?
Covid 19 is challenging on all levels. Due to the age of my staff, I need to be mindful of what they are going through mentally, especially with the study challenges they face. For many of them, their work is their outlet from all other pressures. For some of them, they are the only member of their household who is still working. I also need to keep them safe, so the constant presence of sanitizer, masks and covid protocols are very important. Because of this the moral of the staff has been quite good. We all know what is going on around us and we are all still focused on our work.
What steps are you taking to make your business COVID Safe?
My first challenge in making my business safe, was to make sure my source of information was accurate. The DHHS has become my go to source.
I would check in there as soon changes were announced. I needed to react immediately so the staff knew that I was on top of the changing climate. There was never any hesitation from staff of not following the protocols. They knew, for all of us to continue working, we needed to stay of top of things. Some of them been picked up with covid tracing and have to isolate, and some take voluntary testing.
What's your advice for other businesses right now?
I saw the Occupational COVID-19 Workplace Training Scheme come through on the Chamber of Commerce email, and thought it sounded good, but wasn’t sure it would work in my business. I applied, and once I did the training myself, I was hooked. I asked the staff if they would do it, and there was no hesitation. Some of the training covered things I had implemented in store, but the beauty of the training was that it re-refreshed their understanding of Covid-19, as well as teaching things they didn’t know. They were pleased to see I printed their certificates and put them up in store.
I am a supporter of the training. We all found it easy to access and we all learnt something from it. The quality of the training and the continuous compliance updates are a great source during these difficult times.