With some businesses closing down and others restricting opening hours due to a shortage of staff, entrepreneurs with cash to spare can strike a bargain.
While many east-coast owners are counting the cost of COVID-19, Aykut has decided to expand - in a big way. Aykut is outlaying more than 1.5 million dollars on his restaurant expansion, though he admits it is a risky move after months of low returns at his dine-in venues.
"In the last few months we've opened two venues in Sydney and in the coming months, we'll be opening two more venues. Most of them we've locked in for 15 year leases. And that's how confident I feel about the direction of the hospitality industry."
However Syrian born migrant Racha Abou Alchamat is less buoyant. Her Syrian catering venture, set up in partnership with Syrian refugee Nidal Alali, missed out on thousands of dollars worth of orders during Sydney’s long lockdown.
But it has survived thanks, in part, to the online platform Welcome Merchant. Founder Marjorie Tenchavez explains
"Welcome Merchant was launched in 2020 to provide a consolidated platform for all refugee-powered businesses in Australia. We featured over 80 refugee and asylum seeker entrepreneurs so far from across Australia. A lot of them lack digital savviness or they didn't know how to put it out there. So a lot of them really felt like there was no end in sight."
Click on the player at the top of the page to listen to the feature in Punjabi.
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