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Bourke businesses fight to survive pandemic

Tanya and John Milgate making the famous Morrall’s Bakery meat pies on Tuesday PHOTO TWH

Like most Bourke business, John Milgate from Morrall’s Bakery is dreading the decisions he may have to make over the next few weeks as trade dwindles under the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the Federal government announcing a raft of measures to limit the spread of the virus, including the closure of restaurants, bars and other hospitality outlets, John said he must try and keep his customers to cover costs – and save jobs.

“I have eleven staff and right now, it’s not much fun being a boss,” he said. “We were preparing for a bumper tourist season and now this is another nail in the coffin, following on from the drought.

“I’ve been able to keep my staff on but now we are confronted with this. We thought we’d have a bit of respite but then the corona virus arrives.

“I have to think about their well-being but at the same time I have to try and meet costs which for this business are around $13,000 a week in wages, power, equipment and materials.

“I’ve already reduced hours and one of my staff is voluntarily taking time off to care for her child and has gone into self-isolation herself.

Read more in the printed edition of the Western Herald.

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