“Chapel street recruits ‘Dolly Diamond’ as official small business ambassador during coronavirus pandemic”

30 March 2020: Australia’s largest retail precinct, Chapel Street Precinct, is making Lemonade out of Lemons and has enlisted Melbourne Megastar, Dolly Diamond, as its official ambassador to educate Melburnians on supporting small businesses during the Global Coronavirus Crisis (GCC).

“With most Australians now staying home to help stop the spread of coronavirus, Chapel Street Precinct’s businesses need community support more so than ever before,” said Chrissie Maus, General Manager Chapel Street Precinct Association (CSPA). “Dolly Diamond is a local legend and a much loved star of Melbourne’s comedy scene. She is the perfect person who can put a smile on our mask covered faces, while also educating us on how to live differently during these unprecedented times. It’s business as (un)usual – we have innovated, pivoted and are now raring to give you the same hospitality Chapel Street has always been renowned for. Except now, you can enjoy all their benefits from the comfort of your home.”

Dolly Diamond will star in daily videos to be housed on a dedicated ‘Lemonade out of Lemons’ page on Chapel Street’s website and social media channels to keep you posted on local restaurants offering takeaway or delivery, boutique retailers who are now offering their products online, gyms that have innovated by delivering online workouts and nutritional videos, and many more ways you can support local business while lounging on your backside.

Like many entertainers across Melbourne, Dolly’s schedule was devastatingly wiped clean overnight as the Coronavirus closed down venues across Australia and the 2020 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Her positivity coupled with her unstoppable power to entertain has seen her adapt and innovate like many Chapel Street Precinct businesses.

“As a resident of Windsor, my community has supported me over the years and I’m thrilled to be able to return the favour. These are unprecedented times, and that calls for much creativity and innovation – and all of us in Chapel Street Precinct are up for the challenge. I can’t think of a better way to get through this isolation period, than shopping, eating and exercising from the comfort of my own home… order in people, order in!

“Things are about to get really cosy as we enter lockdown and you’re not allowed to padlock your nearest and dearest in their bedrooms, so you’ll need to think of ways to entertain yourself….and your family. Blow the dust off the board games, it’s time to fall out over Monopoly again.

“Hide and seek might not be as challenging as it once was, with only 2-3 rooms in your apartment, but try playing it blindfolded, even better if you’ve just knocked back a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. And if I get really bored, you can be like me and start prank calling people on WhatsApp – you have been warned!”

As well as recruiting Dolly Diamond, Chapel Street Precinct is urging food delivery platforms including UberEats, Deliveroo and Menulog to reduce their delivery fees in an effort to support Chapel Street Precinct’s hospitality businesses.

Chapel Street Precinct Chairperson Justin O’Donnell explains: “UberEats in North America has already come to the party by waiving the Delivery Fee for more than 100,000 independent restaurants across the US and Canada.

“Food delivery giants charge Australian restaurants and cafes up to 35% commission on every order. As a starting point, we are urging the food delivery giants to halve the commissions they charge. This fee is directly taken from our restaurants and cafes already small profit margin. Without this reduction, most won’t make enough profit to continue long term. Surely with the increased volume of orders, they can afford to reduce their commission and help their food partners survive through these challenging times.”

For more info and a rolling list of businesses that are pivoting during the GCC please visit www.chapelstreet.com.au/lemonade

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