Australians have done a great job of flattening the curve of coronavirus, Federal Nationals Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan says, and now the regions are on the road back.

Mr Conaghan is conducting a business survey through local company Jetty Research to identify opportunities where the Federal Nationals in Government can assist business owners to add value, diversify, build resilience or expand in the post-COVID-19 recovery phase.

“From this week local company Jetty Research will be phoning businesses across the electorate of Cowper with some survey questions and I encourage you to take a few minutes to respond,” he said.

“Our Government has laid down the strongest possible safety net to ensure Australians could be supported through the coronavirus crisis with the JobKeeper and JobSeeker programs as well as specific business support programs worth around $150 billion.

“Now we have to chart our way back and a lot of work is being undertaken by the Prime Minister and Treasurer on the JobMaker plan, industrial relations by the Attorney General, improving our skills system and other measures.

“Your feedback on what I can do as your local member to better support you and policy ideas on how we can improve the environment for businesses and jobs growth is crucial.”

Mr Conaghan launched the survey while visiting Coast 2 Coast Sports in Port Macquarie, a local business which has diversified and adapted since the outbreak of COVID-19. It previously sold sports uniforms, event merchandise and accessories, but with the cessation of local and professional sport, managing director Ben Davidson found his business in limbo.

“COVID-19 and its associated lockdowns wiped out most of our business,” Mr Davidson said.

“But with time on my hands, I learned there was one product in short supply and hot demand: hand sanitiser.

“So working with my sister at Hand Sanitizer Project Australia, I purchased 1000 litres of hand sanitiser and I approached Cassegrain Winery to see if they would let me bottle it there.

“John and Alex Cassegrain were great and I’ve also enlisted the support of another local business, Doppio or Nothing Espresso, to use their existing distribution chains to distribute the sanitiser for us.

“We’re going to continue to sell hand sanitiser into the future and roll out additional safety products because it provides us with new revenue and it complements our traditional sports focus.”

The Jetty Research survey will be turned into a report to provide an overview of local businesses’ feedback.

Mr Conaghan encouraged all local businesses to have their say.