70% of Aussies are worried our cafes will never be the same as they were pre-COVID, according to a new report commissioned by Australian coffee roaster Harris Coffee.
With five million Australians claiming to have missed their local café more than pubs and clubs during the COVID-19 lockdown, Harris has unveiled a first-of-its-kind initiative to help keep Australia’s café culture alive and support cafes on the road to recovery.
The Harris Café Report, conducted by YouGov Galaxy, surveyed 1,000 Australian café-goers and small business owners, to uncover attitudes towards Australia’s café culture and owners’ fears and hopes in a post-COVID-19 world.
The absence of cafés was sorely felt by many during the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions – just under ten million said they felt isolated from their local community during this time while 70% declared their local café as the centre of the community, ahead of amenities including the post office and hairdressers.
How is cafe culture to be kept alive?
To help, Harris has launched the Harris Café Recovery Project – a new scheme for Australian café owners nationwide, to apply for a share in a $1 million support package that will assist them in rebuilding, as they return to serving their local communities.
Cafe owners around Australia are invited to apply for the Harris Café Recovery Project, with up to 25 café owners eligible to receive a share of the $1 million stimulus package.
David Ansell, Head of Harris Coffee, said “Between the bushfires and COVID-19, cafés across Australia have been hit hard in recent months.
It has become clear how important cafes are to Australians and their communities. As an Australian coffee roaster, we felt like we needed to do our bit to get cafes back on their feet and help keep doors open, returning them to being an integral part of their local area.”
“Through our Harris Café Report, we found that 80% of small business owners in hospitality believe they won’t recover from recent hardships without support. 43% also said they won’t be able to stay open longer than six months without the support.”
Harris is encouraging Aussies to support their local café by buying a coffee, and if your local is doing it tough, encourage them to apply for the Harris Café Recovery Project.
For more information and application terms and conditions, visit here.