It’s too soon to know the full impact Victoria’s lockdowns will have on businesses across the state.
But already, thousands of producers, shops, artists, restaurants, wineries, distilleries and more have been hit hard.
When you add the effects of the pandemic as a whole, and those of the bushfire crisis, it’s estimated Victorian businesses will see combined losses of around $23.3 billion in 2020 – and $7.9 billion of those are in regional Victoria, where many businesses rely heavily on tourism for support.
In response, Visit Victoria has launched Click for Vic, a new online platform to help support struggling businesses in both regional Victoria and in metropolitan Melbourne.
“Without a vaccine, coronavirus will mean we have to find new ways to innovate and adapt,” Premier Daniel Andrews said in a statement. “Buying local is always the best policy, but it’s particularly important right now. By backing our local producers, we’re also backing the jobs and communities they support.”
While you can’t take a road trip around Victoria, you can use the website to stock your kitchen with milk and cultured butter from Gippsland Jersey, chocolate truffles from Phillip Island Chocolate Factory, native Australian spices from Saltbush Kitchen in Buninyong, honey from Walkabout Apiaries in Milawa and coffee from Mansfield Coffee Merchant.
There’s also cool-climate wine from Montalto on the Mornington Peninsula, beer from Sailors Grave Brewing in Orbost, and navy-strength gin from Kilderkin Distillery in Ballarat.
Peninsula Hot Springs is making clay face masks, and you can order herbal teas from Gather & Harvest in Bright, cosy wool blankets from The Creswick Woollen Mills, and soy candles, linen totes and other homewares from The Spa in Beechworth.
Businesses that don’t already have an online shop will be hosted on Click for Vic via one of three existing platforms.
The first is Victorian Country Market, a hub that already includes more than 250 regional producers and makers. The market employs out-of-work music-industry staff to deliver fresh fruit and vegetables; meat, fish and eggs; wine and spirits; ceramics; skincare and more.
Providoor delivers restaurant-quality finish-at-home meals from restaurants around Melbourne, including Flower Drum, Sunda, Tipo 00, Movida and Supernormal.
And Co-Lab Pantry – which already stocks peanut butter from Ides, chilli oil from Chotto Motto, self-saucing puddings from Piccolina and olive-oil-spiked Martinis from Capitano – has you sorted for kitchen staples.
Shipping costs vary depending on provider and location. Orders from multiple suppliers via one hub can be consolidated. Most suppliers ship non-perishables Australia-wide, but Providoor only delivers within 35 kilometres of Melbourne’s CBD.