On Australia’s longest continuous shopping strip, small businesses are hacking what they do to stay afloat. But for most, the future remains highly uncertain.


The traders on Sydney Road in Melbourne like to say it’s the longest shopping strip in the southern hemisphere.

Once the main thoroughfare from Melbourne to Sydney, it’s now a busy suburban melting pot that transitions from hipster cafes, grungy bars and op shops to kebab houses, continental bakeries and bridal couture, a place that embraces the old and outdated as much as the new and polished.

That’s always been part of its rough-around-the-edges charm.

Even before coronavirus, many of the shopfronts on this 4.5-kilometre stretch could lay dormant for months, even years.

Now with the blow of a pandemic, business owners are scrambling to keep their heads above water. Read More




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