Brisbane businesses are adapting to the coronavirus pandemic by diversifying the way they operate to stay afloat, swapping gin sales for sanitiser and converting empty car parks into drive-throughs.

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has praised Brisbane businesses for the ingenious ways they are adapting to the new normal of retail and service in the world of coronavirus lockdowns.

“This is an economic crisis, but Brisbane businesses are squaring up to the threat and trying to make the most of it by taking a shot at a new direction,” Cr Schrinner said.

“Brisbane Distillery in West End is one of our innovators that has moved from producing a fine drop to drink, to a vital tool to fight coronavirus.

“Brisbane Distillery has teamed up with Newstead-based distributor Get Sanitised to sell the West End produced hand sanitiser online and at pop up locations.

“Other businesses have morphed into online shopping only; beauty therapists are selling shellac nail removal kits to take home; bakeries and coffee shops are converting car parks into drive-throughs.

“Well-known Brisbane restaurants such as Gambaros are selling takeaway meals, Enoggera-based barber The Bearded Chap have ditched the scissors to sell hand sanitiser and I’ve seen local engineering companies begin 3D printing hospital ventilators.

“The diversity of businesses and their eagerness to transform is nothing short of phenomenal and it has seen local products circulate in our local hospitals, supermarkets and households, which is providing a boost for our Brisbane economy.”

Cr Schrinner said giving Brisbane businesses more support to see this crisis through is a key priority for Council.

“Not all Brisbane businesses have had success in adapting, and I know that there are people hanging on and I’m committed to providing all the support I can to help them survive,” he said.

“I’ve recently announced the Economic Recovery Taskforce, which will provide more hands-on business support now and into recovery.

“Our $7.9 million business relief package is helping ease the economic hardship businesses are facing by waiving business charges, rent, fees or permits required to be paid until at least June 30, 2020.

“Shopping local is another way we can all help soften the economic blow on Brisbane businesses and save local jobs over the next few months.

“Now is the time to get that drive-through coffee, take up online shopping or buy hand sanitiser from a local supplier because your purchase could be the make or break sale for a local business.”

For more information about business support, call Brisbane City Council’s dedicated hotline at 133 BNE. For other information call Council on 3403 8888.