Business / Community / 20th August 2020
TAKE FIVE: with Bruce Henley from Coona Rural Supplies
Tell me about your business:
We supply all things rural to farmers and requirements for townspeople as well, including feed, fencing, water fittings and steel supplies. We have been operating in Coonabarabran for 17 years, employing five full time staff and two part time staff. We have two other stores associated with us - Baradine Rural Supplies and Binnaway Rural Supplies, which also employ a further three full-time staff.
How has your business been impacted by COVID-19?
It has made ordering a lot more complicated due to companies running out of products and stock because of lack of imports and lack of Australian manufacturing. And then there is the added pressure of carrying more stock for longer periods in fear of running out of product. But a bigger effect on us was the drought, which has made it hard on everybody who lives in the western area.
Did you ever think that after navigating through years of drought, that you would be facing a global pandemic?
Iamgladwegot good rain before we knew anything about COVID-19, because the drought-breaking rain put everybody in a positive frame of mind... although it does not rain money, just confidence.
What is the current mood amongst local landholders?
The mood is very positive because of the confidence in the season. Even though we are still a long way from harvest, the positive is the animals all have enough feed at the moment so producers are not needing to buy it.
What products have been in demand?
Fencing supplies and drenches that we have not sold for quite a while. Steel has been drifting out all the time. In comparison to this time last time year, everything was revolving around stock feeds.
How is the season ahead shaping up, for both yourself and customers?
Excellent, if rain continues until end of September, then drying off for harvest.
How can local people help local businesses, now and into the future?
By being patient, always trying to shop local and being courteous and kind to employees and business owners, because we have come out of, and straight back into trying times.