The Chronicle

Business optimism is soaring


BUSINESS is going gangbuster­s for Sydney entreprene­ur Avi Efrat.

His company, Fantastic Framing, has grown 70 per cent and he has opened three new stores since the outbreak of Covid-19.

“It’s been very successful, but it was also very challengin­g,” he said of the past 18 months.

“It was a very dark time for a lot of people, so we tried to find the light – art brings light into people’s homes.”

NSW are on target to hit their 70 per cent double-dose target as early as October 11.

It marks a real shift for businesses with confidence increasing across the board.


Essential services have also boomed. Woolworths recorded an uplift of 23 per cent with almost $2bn in net profit after tax, reflecting the tremendous efforts the supermarke­t giant made to keep its doors open during lockdown.

Vaccinatio­ns are the cornerston­e of the retailer’s strategy moving forward, because they are the only way for it to keep both staff members and customers safe.

So far, more than 8500 jabs have been administer­ed at on-site Big W vaccinatio­n hubs and distributi­on centre clinics, plus thousands more at state hubs.

“Our immediate focus is ensuring our team members have access to vaccines,” a Woolworths spokespers­on said. “We continue to strongly encourage all our team members to get vaccinated.”

This sentiment is echoed by other industry sectors. It has been a tough year for many businesses, but figures from NAB show that Australian­s spent a record $44bn online while millions of people were locked down.

“The increasing vaccine rate provides hope to Australia’s small businesses, and especially bricksand-mortar retailers,” said Tim MacKinnon, the managing director at eBay Australia.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and they are critical partners to eBay. We are a team – so if they win, we win.”


Optimism is also creeping up in Melbourne. Thomastown manufactur­er Floridia Cheese has so far survived six lockdowns – more than 240 days in total.

Although this caused big changes to the food services part of its business, exports have continued and there is a strong appetite in retail.

“Home cooking has gone crazy,” said spokeswoma­n Lisa Montalto-Galati.

“People are cooking up a storm! Sales for retail products – that’s things such as mozzarella balls, bocconcini, and shredded cheese – have gone up and are keeping us very busy.

“We lost in one area and gained in another.”

The family business has worked hard to keep employees engaged while continuing to support local dairy farmers.

However, relief is coming for the country’s most locked-down city, with restrictio­ns set to lift as soon as late October, when Victoria is expected to hit its 70 per cent double-jab target.

 ?? ?? Demand for art has kept Alfred Bukris, Avi Efrat and Lior Lazar busy.
Demand for art has kept Alfred Bukris, Avi Efrat and Lior Lazar busy.

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