Owning a business has never been easy, but has it ever been as hard as during the past two years?
Lockdowns, border closures, travel permits, density limits, cleaning requirements, QR codes, vaccination certificates, exposure sites, staff shortages, isolation, quarantine and sometimes a bit of abuse from customers thrown in for good measure.
Hats off to anyone willing to lead a workplace, to be the person with whom the buck stops. And extra praise is due as we learn many of those people actually look ahead to the future, if not joyously, at least with some optimism.
Undertaken late last year in the throes of Albury-Wodonga outbreaks, little wonder 55 per cent of respondents said border closures had impacted their work in the past 30 days while 68 per cent indicated COVID-19 had affected their job in the last month.
And yet 60 per cent - more than half - also revealed they felt positive about the future.
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"I actually thought it would have been the same or maybe fatigue may have set in with a lot of business owners," she said.
"Because they're dealing with this daily, they're trying to keep their businesses open, they're trying to abide by all the rules.
"They've got team members that are also struggling as they may be struggling themselves."
And the challenges are by no means over, as Border hospitality venues experience quiet days during a traditionally busy month.
Concern over the widespread Omicron outbreak may be keeping some customers away this summer but as The Goods Shed bar manager Emma Harrison says, many people still want to get out and about.
So it's possible Albury-Wodonga may be able to avoid the worst of what's becoming known as the shadow lockdown.
For the sake of our community's economic, social and emotional health, we hope so.
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