Nelson Hotel Group President Ian Williams said people have to “use it or lose it” when it comes to local restaurants and cafes.
“I think there might be an assumption, ‘we’re trading below level 2 and everything is fine with the world.’ The problem is, most hospitality businesses are still losing money or breaking even. The longer this lasts, the more likely we are for things to close. “
He said something that was tough, which was different from a month or so ago, was that spring events that could bring in tens of thousands of dollars were being canceled or postponed.
“Mako games – even that, just one thing, those lost games make a difference of $ 30,000 to my income. It’s huge.”
* Hospitality takes another hit with the cancellation of Mask Carnivale
* Covid-19: Nelson’s businesses suffer after 18 months of Covid
* Covid-19: Retailers looking outside Nelson to weather the Covid storm
This means that the events held there are even more important and that local support is crucial. Williams said local organizations such as the Nelson Regional Development Agency and Uniquely Nelson were “all protests and what people can do” in the area.
“What I find, speaking widely to people in the area, is that even the locals don’t go out as much as they would if it was for example in October 2019. It seems to be a psychological effect of put on masks and register. , that’s too much effort.
For the Nelson Courier Support our regional economy project, we are encouraging locals to go out and support local businesses – choose the local option over the main national online shops, go to local chain outlets and, if possible, go in small independent businesses.
We know it can be difficult to put on masks and leave the house, so why not refresh your mind and make an effort to go on vacation to your area?
Here are some suggested itineraries that will hopefully suit most budgets.
Local cash-strapped vacation
If your budget is tight, that doesn’t mean you can’t go on a local vacation that helps support local businesses.
After a breakfast at home, and depending on your budget, maybe pack a little something for lunch * step out for the day and head to your favorite local cafe.
Invite your friends or family if you wish, or treat yourself to a drink – every tea or coffee sold helps your local restaurants turn the wheels.
After your coffee brunch, head to town. Shop or discover something new in town, like the free Nelson Art Walk, Te Waikoropupu Springs in Tākaka, or the Old Factory Corner in Richmond.
Try walking or biking on a section of the Great Taste Trail that you’ve never visited before. If you’ve made your own lunch, you might be able to find a nice spot along the way.
After whetting your appetite by wandering around your area for the day, treat yourself to a nice restaurant dinner – try one of the restaurants that isn’t available on your favorite online delivery platform.
* While not everyone can afford a meal out, it is important not to eat your own food in restaurants or cafes. Keep it tidy for a nice spot on the beach or by the river.
A comfortable local vacation
If you have a little more leeway in your budget, consider making your day trip a little more literal.
Rather than the hyper-local visits to favorite cafes and window shopping, how about jumping on gas to visit a city you usually don’t have much of a reason to go to?
If you are coming from Nelson, consider going to Golden Bay, or vice versa. Stop at a Motueka restaurant to interrupt the trip for a coffee or brunch.
Once you’ve reached your destination, wherever it is, find a hospitality establishment you’ve never visited before, or a hotel that’s an old favorite that you haven’t been to in a while.
Check out local shops and attractions, and maybe do some early Christmas shopping.
Once it’s time to get home, be sure to stop for dinner along the way, whether it’s at your vacation destination or a favorite place near you.
Your support means a lot to local restaurants still facing uncertainty and overhead during the time of Covid-19.
Williams said that while businesses pushed for support from government and local councils, ultimately businesses needed locals to stay afloat.
“It’s about going out and supporting your local bars and restaurants, and helping them to be sustainable.”
ANDY MACDONALD / THINGS
Buying local has never been more important, and buyers in Nelson are encouraged to spend their money in the area.