It’s been a crazy few weeks, hasn’t it? For most of us it will disrupt how we live our lives for now and potentially our financial situation. And, unfortunately for some, it puts their life at risk. It’s times like these where we need to take perspective and let that guide our decisions—not just how things affect us, but others, and how our actions affect others. If the government isn’t clear, we have to try to do the best we can.
This is why, in the group, I’ve published an ‘official’ postion that we should not go hiking right now. We should stay at home and avoid unnecessary activities and interactions with others. (Updated group rules are here.) This is the position of the NZ Government with the country being in lockdown, but in Australia the official government messages are mixed and we’re not officially locked down.
I’m not the boss of hiking of course, but the point of this position is to help inform how we moderate the discussion to keep our little community safe and healthy, and the discussion positive. Maddy King, who is a member of the group, is a journo for Triple J Hack and wrote an article about COVID-19 and hiking yesterday, which includes a couple of quotes from yours truely.
During the week I put a call out to members who may be running a small businesses and facing challenges right now. By day, I work in digital and e-commerce. My expertise is in building and growing online brands. Over the years I have worked with brands in retail (outdoor gear, chocolate (!), and now optical), publishing, and technology. I’m offering some of my time to help struggling small businesses improve their online presence—or help them set themselves up online—and try to make the most out of the next period. You mightn’t be able to trade now but when this all settles down it’s important that you’re ready to go. Flick me at email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you run a business and want to have a chat.
What else can we do to support businesses right now? We can spend money with them. Hiking gear and guided hikes aren’t essentials (some of us might disagree, hehe) so they’re going to take a hit right now. For now many are continuing to sell online and will for a little while still in Australia—though, that could change quickly. As I understand it, in NZ only essential online trade is permitted, e.g. food, medicine, electronics, etc. But, with many online retailers you will still be able to buy a gift voucher online. See below a list of businesses I have found that sell gift vouchers online. Buy one for yourself to go toward that piece of gear you plan to buy for your next hike in a few months time.
You’ll see I have purposely limited this list to smaller, independent businesses, not big chains. If you want to support a big chain that’s fine too—they’re just not in the list below.
If you know a smaller, independent retailer or operator and they’re not on the list send them an email to see if they sell vouchers, and if they do let me know.
Hiking Gear Stores
Trek & Travel
Find Your Feet