Over the past decade, Broken Glass hair salon owner Kevin Crane's love of Halloween has made him a Port Kembla businessperson ahead of his time.
Mr Crane and a nearby florist were the first businesses in Wentworth Street to deck themselves out for Halloween in 2010.
They quickly gained a reputation, firstly among young trick-or-treaters in the suburb, for going all out for the spooky event.
"During the first few years when Halloween was on a weeknight, we used to have trick-or-treaters come to the store with their parents. The word got around and the kids always knew they would get good lollies at Broken Glass.
"I think it's great kids have the opportunity to dress up and express themselves in a different way. There is no other holiday of event that really lets you do that.
"Cosplay is really big for adults but this is like Cosplay on one day for everyone."
Mr Crane has always hoped Port Kembla would take on Halloween as its annual festival event.
And this year that wish is being realised with most businesses in Wentworth Street planning to deck their shops out to celebrate Halloween between 10am and 12 noon on October 31.
Mr Crane said it was wonderful to see Port Kembla Chamber of Commerce and Industry was pushing for the Halloween theme this year.
As part of Small Business Month the chamber has received a grant from the NSW Government to help stimulate the local business community.
Chamber president Natasha Miovic said the assistance coincided with a downturn in trade being caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ms Miovic said the $2000 from the NSW Treasury would help the chamber promote small businesses in Wentworth St during Halloween and leave customers, visitors and onlookers wanting to come back next year for more.
Along with participating businesses providing treats to those dressed for 'trick-or-treat' on October 31. There will be prizes of an IMB Bank account of $100 each for the best dressed child, adult and family group in Halloween costumes.
Ms Miovic said to keep it a COVID-19 safe event visitors are being requested to practice social distancing, wear an approved face mask, stay home if unwell, say no to hugs and sanitise their hands on entry to each business.
She said they will also be required to follow the COVID-19 restrictions at each participating business.
Mr Crane is confident Port Kembla's Halloween Festival will attract people rather than scare them away and can become as big as Spring Into Corrimal.
He is excited to see the idea starting to grow but is keeping who he is dressing up as this year a mystery again in order to surprise them like he does every year.
"I have been very passionate about celebrating Halloween for the last 10 years and am really excited the Chamber of Commerce are behind making this event big this year in Port Kembla," he said.
"My team love dressing up every year and it is great that the Servo is back open and they are also really excited about it. In fact they are committed to doing it every years"
Mr Crane said he and his staff love the idea of a fancy dress competition at the Servo as well as other activities along Wentworth Street.
"There are also going to be some circus performers in the street like stilt walkers and jugglers," he said.
"And more shops are getting involved. It has been like a domino effect when people see how much fun we have.
"The florist has always had a wonderful window display. I would love to see Halloween become our annual community festival."
Mr Crane said he also got behind the giant water slide and the Billy Kart Derby when they were help in Port Kembla.
"I raced in the Billy Kart Derby the first year and came seventh," he said.
Mr Crane said he can't wait for October 31 which he also thinks falls on a full moon this year.
He went to the Halloween weekend at Dapto Showground last year and really enjoyed himself but is not aware of any other events this year.
"My team will be posting photos again this year for everyone to see. It is always fun," he said.
Movers and Shakers is a new weekly feature of people doing significant work in or for the Illawarra community
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Future work roundtable
RDA Illawarra is hosting an interactive Future of Work roundtable online on October 29 to look at how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we interact, communicate, socialise and work.
It will ask whether that is the new norm , will the novelty of working from home start to wearing off and how will organisations manage their workforce of the future.
And look at how businesses have been successfully managing remote work for many years, the operational, technological and human resource management practices businesses need to make remote working successful and how to benefit from the opportunities for virtual decentralisation in the Illawarra.
Speakers include RMB Lawyers managing partner Craig Osborne, Wollongong City Council general manager Greg Doyle and Mercer Wollongong People and Culture leader Renee Whiteside.
Energy users get to have their say
Endeavour Energy customers are being invited to have their say on their experiences and the services delivered by the company on the release of its 2020 Energy Charter Disclosure. The disclosure report details the steps being taken to keep people safe and in work and the lights on during a financial year full of uncertainty.
Chief executive Guy Chalkley said 2020 has been a challenging one for customers and communities impacted by drought, bushfires, storms and COVID-19. And that has resulted in Endeavour Energy working more closely with regulators, industry partners and emergency services to deliver good customer outcomes. But feedback will help them do better.
Mr Chalkley said the 2020 Energy Charter Disclosure will help customers take account of Endeavour Energy's performance and identify where they want to see service improvements.
"We're inviting all our customers to read the disclosure and let us know their thoughts on our progress at firstname.lastname@example.org."
An Independent Accountability Panel will also review Endeavour Energy's plans and bring a fresh perspective to help benchmark and improve its performance.
"The Independent Accountability Panel will invite public comment on ours and other NSW signatories' performance at a public forum via webinar on 19 October."
"The Panel is chaired by the highly respected former NSW Energy & Water Ombudsman Clare Petre and includes other experienced business and consumer advocates.
"Customers can register to attend the Panel's forum at https://theenergycharterpanel.com.au/public-consultation/."
Endeavour Energy's 2020 Disclosure Report can be viewed at www.endeavourenergy.com.au.
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