October 27th, 2021BOOM Clunes up for Mainstreet awards
BOOM Clunes has been shortlisted in the Mainstreet Australia awards to be announced in November.
The awards have been running for 20 years and recognise and celebrate the achievements of businesses or volunteers who ensure the ongoing success and survival of main streets.
BOOM Clunes chief entrepreneur Lana de Kort said BOOM Clunes, a social enterprise by Clunes Neighbourhood House, was launched earlier this year in response to the pandemic and the need to help strengthen the community as the world returned to a new normal. The award recognition was just icing on the cake.
“Main streets play an incredibly important role in contributing to the vitality of communities – big or small. The intention was to provide a place that would have a role for visitors to our town, as well as the many people who live and work here.
“Nearly a year into our start-up the book and gift shop are a regular destination for locals and tourists alike. Upstairs our co-working space has become home to local businesses, with one office still available, as well as an open workspace for many people living and working at home.
“It is something we are all very proud of. To be honest, when you roll out a project in small town you don’t think people beyond will be aware of what you are doing, so just being a part of the Mainstreet awards is really encouraging.”
Lana said a big part of the Clunes Neighbourhood House strategy over the years had been concentrating on contributing to the neighbourhood first, knowing that benefits for the House would follow. “So, during the pandemic it was natural for us to think of how we could contribute to the town as the world started opening up. The beauty of BOOM Clunes is that it’s a circular business model with diverse income streams – both the retail, and the co-working space. That means we can better weather the ups and downs that come with operating a business in a pandemic, as well as generating income we can reinvest into the community going forward.
“Establishing a business like this in our main street has been a big commitment. We’ve raised our own funds to match the start-up grant we received from the Business Chambers and Trader Groups program, and volunteers have contributed hours of their time to get our doors open, and keep us running.”
Lana said the store, offering a real Clunes experience, has included products from more than 20 different local suppliers. It means when people buy from BOOM Clunes that they are buying local on more than one level.
Upstairs people are working, networking, thinking and talking in serviced offices, contributing to a culture of confidence that’s important now as the world opens up.
“It has been a challenging time but also really exciting to see the overwhelming support we have received to bring it to fruition. To be shortlisted for this award, up there with some pretty huge initiatives, feels like an incredible acknowledgement of the vision and hard work that’s been behind BOOM Clunes from the beginning.”
Link: www.boomclunes.org | www.mainstreetaustralia.org.au