Clubs and pubs all over the Central Coast are feeling the pinch as coronavirus restrictions remain in force.
For Mick Hill, licensee and owner of The Grange Hotel at Wyoming, the period of isolation is proving tough, but he is hoping that a new initiative from Carlton & United Breweries and the Australian Hotels Association might help a little.
“The hotel, of course, is completely closed, and all we have operating is the liquor barn,” Hill said.
Hill is taking advantage of the shutdown to repaint the hotel interior and undertake some refurbishment, supplying local tradesmen with a bit of work.
“We’re doing a lot of cleaning – the hotel kitchen has never so looked so good and neither have my gardens and lawns.”
Hill said the Federal Government’s JobKeeper program, which will provide $1,500 per fortnight for every eligible employee, would hopefully help him retain all 34 staff members.
“A lot of the staff are coming in to do the cleaning and with JobKeeper set to kick in soon, backdated to March 30, I’m hoping no one will lose their job,” he said.
“I’m not sure yet how it’s all going to work.
Hill, who has been working at the pub for more than 40 years, is confident that it will survive to the other side of the pandemic.
“My dad built the hotel in 1972 and I came here to work with him in 1979,” he said.
In the meantime, Hill has signed up to the For the Love of Your Local campaign being conducted by Carlton & United Breweries and the Australian Hotels Association.
The campaign aims to inject $1M into Australian pubs and clubs by calling on Australians to buy a pint now to drink later.
Patrons simply visit www.loveofyourlocal.com.au, nominate their participating local and buy a pint of CUB beer.
The cash goes to the venue immediately.
Carlton & United Breweries then matches that purchase with a free pint, meaning people get two pints for the price of one when their local re-opens.
“I’m hoping a lot of customers come on board, so I know that I’m going to get their business back when we reopen.”
Interview, Apr 15
Mick Hill, owner
The Grange Hotel
Reporter: Terry Collins