Eclectopia Gifts owner facing bushfire recovery alone | Goulburn Post

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Small business owner Christine O’Neill says her retail shop in Taralga suffered a significant loss of revenue during the 2019-20 bushfires, mainly due to a decline in domestic visitors. Ms O’Neill also said her business was forced to close, and stock was damaged. “The fires greatly impacted my business,” Ms O’Neill said. The Green Wattle Creek fire burned within ten kilometres of Taralga, it destroyed the surrounding bush and closed nearby tourist attraction, Wombeyan Caves. “The town was blanketed in thick smoke for days, preventing me from opening my store. My business suffered as a direct consequence.” Ms O’Neill has operated Eclectopia Gifts for four and a half years, and she said her retail business was hit hard. Read also: Utterly derailed: Rockmans, Millers, Rivers owner to close up to 500 stores “My retail business had been moving forward and growing. The loss of tourism was felt heavily.” She said businesses across the Upper Lachlan Shire local government area had lost revenue due to a lack of domestic visitors. “Taralga and Crookwell businesses have suffered. “We face an unknown future in this little part of the greater Southern Tablelands,” she said. Ms O’Neill was astonished that local businesses missed out on bushfire recovery support. “The grant would make an enormous difference,” she said. Hansard records dated June 3 showed the Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman met with the Deputy Premier John Barilaro to advocate for local businesses during a visit to the area. The office of the Deputy Premier John Barilaro sent a request to the Minister for Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud to extend support to the Upper Lachlan Shire. However, the $10,000 small business grant to aid with bushfire recovery has not been extended to the community. We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.

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