Central Geelong businesses have been working to quickly adapt their products and services over recent weeks, as the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic develops. There are ways the Geelong community can show their support for local businesses during these unprecedented times.

Many restaurants and cafes have been able to switch to alternate delivery or pick up methods, carving out new niches and gaining new customers by preparing meals to heat and eat at home.

ALMA at Home, Caruggi, Mavs, Pizzeria Adamo, Workers Geelong, Ebony & Ivory and Rook are just some of the fantastic eateries that have adapted their meal options for customers while ensuring social distancing is supported. Black Bull Tapas Bar and Restaurant’s head chef Daniel is preparing fresh pasta and trays of lasagne, with an expanded range of take-home meals to meet customer demands. Cafe Go is now delivering breakfast or lunch straight to staff and patients at Geelong Hospital during business hours.

Yarra Street Quartermaster’s regular offer of two-lane drive through groceries, coffee and wine available from the car was well positioned to service the changing needs of customers over recent weeks. The Fresh Food Merchant in Malop St is stocked up on fruit and vegetables, deli goods, seafood and groceries – many from local producers - and has begun offering three ways to shop - In-store, Order & Collect and Delivery.

Many professional service businesses have moved online, ensuring customers can still access their services using online platforms for one-on-one remote consultations or over the phone expert advice.

Pace Advertising has been helping other businesses pivot to an online model, working with several businesses to change their service delivery from physical shop-fronts to 'online-only' models. They have assisted with the roll out of video conferencing and converting in-office phones to a mobile app.

Central Geelong businesses have still been able to support customers’ health and fitness goals. The team at Good Folk Yoga are uploading online yoga and meditation classes daily, Upstate Studios is live streaming classes and Wonder Yoga has taken their classes online.

And there are still ways to enjoy some of Central Geelong’s favourite entertainment venues. Even though the doors may be shut, Piano Bar is live streaming nightly via Facebook Live, encouraging song requests, shout outs and photos.

The National Wool Museum Collection of more than 7,500 objects, including over 4,000 photographs, can be viewed online at Victorian Collections and you can explore the Geelong Gallery collection via their website at http://collections.geelonggallery.org.au/collections/

The Geelong Library and Heritage Centre has many digital resources, including the extensive eCollection. The number of borrowing e-items has doubled from four to eight on each of the following platforms: BorrowBox, Cloud Library and Overdrive.

Central Geelong’s creative art suppliers, including Artworx Geelong, Geelong Art Supplies and Cavalier Art Supplies to name a few, offer delivery and gift vouchers.

There are also other ways that you can support your favourite businesses from home. Consider booking ahead for services wherever you can – it helps businesses to know that they have ongoing bookings throughout the year. Book ahead for any hair appointments, dental appointments, tax appointments, financial advice, beauty treatments, medical appointments, or flower deliveries you might need for later in the year.

You can also consider what special occasions are coming up. Birthdays, Easter, anniversaries and other celebrations are a great opportunity to buy gift vouchers to be used once restrictions ease, or you can book your family celebrations in for special events later in the year.

You can also help by leaving a review for your favourite businesses online. Each review a customer posts online is a form of advertising for that business and helps get the message out about their products and services to a wider audience. We know that people look and trust what their friends and family recommend, so give a shout out to the businesses you love and want to help during these challenging times.

Be sure to check the social media accounts of your favourite businesses to keep up with what they're doing – things have been changing fast. It also helps businesses when you like, follow and share their posts on social media.

A little support goes a long way.

Download the Love Central Geelong App or visit the online business directory at www.centralgeelong.com.au/find to find Central Geelong businesses doing things differently and find the product or service you are looking for and support local businesses and local jobs.