News

Heathcote moves online during COVID-19 crisis

By Andrew Johnston

WHILE their shop fronts may be closed, Heathcote is still open for business. And many companies are adapting to the changing world by opening online.

Heathcote Tourism has launched its Buy Local Online campaign, including a virtual guide to Heathcote, which lists several local services that can be found on the web.

City of Greater Bendigo manager of marketing (tourism) Glenn Harvey said it was difficult to see local business suffer through the COVID-19 crisis, and that changes were being made to help locals to continue to work and profit during the period.

“It has been hard seeing local businesses being impacted over the past 3 weeks with the social distancing measures needed to combat COVID-19,” he said.

“Over this time, we have seen businesses innovate very quickly by offering online, delivery and takeaway options.

“Our tourism and major events team felt a blog that could promote these options via social media would help increase the exposure for businesses with the aim of people accessing their products”

Harvey said regular updates would be published regarding what businesses were doing, and how locals could continue to support them.

“Heathcote Tourism and Development members keep us up to date with their latest offerings and the blog is updated on a regular basis.

“The blog is promoted via the Explore Heathcote social media account on Facebook and Instagram.”

While locals are being asked to observe social distancing measures, and as such only leave their houses when necessary, the town has already made the incredibly difficult decision to advise that people from outside the community not visit Heathcote.

But while the doors to the town are effectively shut, there is still hope people will take in the best of what is on offer using the web.

“Even though people can’t visit Heathcote now, they can still enjoy our region’s fantastic products by ordering online from the comfort of their own home.

“It’s also a way for locals to support each other by accessing pickup and delivery options which will help businesses during these hard times.”

To keep up to date with virtual Heathcote, follow @ExploreHeathcote on Facebook or Instagram or visit heathcote.org.au