‘Resilience’ is a word that seems to be used quite liberally in the past few years, almost losing the power of its actual meaning – that being ‘the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness’.

I continue to be amazed at how ‘resilient’ Australians are with the current and most recent disasters we have weathered.

As we slowly resume the ‘new normal’, this means that school children are attending school on a more full-time basis, small businesses are also re-opening and employees are returning to a more regular workplace and working hours, to kick-start our local economy again.

It is hard to believe that just under eight weeks ago, so much upheaval was questioning our priorities, how we as a community were going to recover from a pandemic never seen in our lifetime, and wondering how to look after our businesses and employees.

Emerging from this lockdown is slow, but it is certainly working for our community to date, and I ask that our community members be patient and continue to shop locally and support the local businesses and their families/employees to keep money spent locally to build and grow our fantastic towns. Local small businesses have suffered through the drought and now the pandemic closures, and it is an amazing feat that they can continue to retain their employees, pay their suppliers and still have a smile on their face as they greet their local customers.

Council has now employed a small business liaison Officer who has been working hard and getting out and about with local business, and is available to speak to local small business owners, particularly if they have questions regarding the many recent stimulus packages that have been released by the government – which include the ongoing drought stimulus packages as well.

These can always be located online at: www.service.nsw.gov.au, but if you would like to speak to Council’s Small Business Liaison Officer, please call to book an appointment on 6799 6866.

Finally this week. I would like to provide a reminder to all residents and community members who are involved in a Shire-based committee or a community/sporting group that would like to apply for funding through the coming 2020 Council Community Grants Fund – the Fund is currently open for receipt of applications and will close at the end of May 2020.

If your club or committee would like to submit an application, please make sure that you complete your applications and submit them by the closing date, Friday May 29, 2020, just so you don’t miss out.

This is a great opportunity for all local clubs and committees within the Shire to apply for funding for any type of project or development that will be completed within the coming 12 months.

Now is the time to get your club/committee thinking about what they would like achieve for their clubs, and apply.

Cr Cathy Redding, Narrabri Shire Council Mayor

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