Still Here: A local business helping others
When Darren Coulter and his family landed at Adelaide Airport in mid-March, the refreshed holiday feeling after three weeks in Japan quickly dissipated as they stepped into an Adelaide somewhat in lockdown—and straight into two weeks of self-isolation.
“The first week back felt awful—everything seemed apocalyptic, everyone I spoke with had a story about small businesses in trouble,” says Darren.
Small business owners themselves, Darren and his partner Rebecca Gratton, quickly felt the pinch as the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic hit businesses of all shapes and sizes and forced many to close due to Federal and State Government restrictions.
“Owning a small business is all-consuming and your staff feel very much like your family. When I learned what was happening to businesses and saw people waiting in lengthy Centrelink queues, I understood their pain."
Shortly after returning from Japan, Darren and his team at Karmabunny were online in the first of many Zoom meetings—something that quickly became the new normal for many.
Not even able to order a coffee from the local cafe, Darren knew that he had to use the expertise of his team to make a difference to business owners who were unsure of how to navigate the next five minutes let alone the next few months.
“We decided to build a free online directory where small businesses could tell the world that they were still open and ready for business, and how they were adapting to the COVID-19 experience.”
We hoped the directory—aptly named Still Here—could help small businesses win and retain customers but we knew it had to be launched that same week in order to make a difference.
And launch it they did. Within one and a half weeks, stillhere.com.au had more than 1,000 businesses listed.
Admirably, Darren and his team dedicated every spare moment to the Still Here website while they themselves were enduring two painful months.
"Many of the projects Karmabunny was commissioned to complete were simply put on hold by clients who were uncertain about the future. It wasn’t until the Federal Government’s JobKeeper program kicked in that some confidence was restored and we were asked to continue with the work.”
Things are looking bright again at Karmabunny. Darren has led the team to adapt to a new way of working and now has a team that’s stronger and more empowered than before.
Karmabunny is a local business with a talented team who design, develop and program websites and all things web.
Find out more about Karmabunny, visit: www.karmabunny.com.au