When Stella Stead was getting ready for bed on Sunday night she was thinking about what she could do to help small businesses doing it tough during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Aware of the response the Illawarra Menu's page had during the 2020 lockdown and the positive way it help cafes, restaurants and businesses in the hospitality sector, she thought it would be great to do something to help other small businesses in the region.
Ms Stead acted on that innovative impulse immediately and the new Facebook page Sensational Small Businesses - Illawarra was an instant hit.
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"I launched it last night and woke up to 200 likes this morning," she said.
"Just like anyone in small business the last two weeks have been difficult for my business (Above and Beyond Early Childhood Consulting).
"I have lost a lot of income. And I had a little breakdown.
"But I always come out stronger and I just thought launching a page to help all small businesses would be a great opportunity.
"I am just encouraging people to give their business a shout-out so we can see the amazing services that the small businesses of the Illawarra have.
"And even if we can't utilise them today we can remember them tomorrow."
Ms Stead said the new page has already had people purchasing items from businesses using it.
"It is so good to see this page is already helping small businesses," she said.
"I hope it can be a platform for businesses thrive during this time."
Ms Stead also hopes the page will lift small business people's spirits.
"It is also about our mental health. Not just the numbers in the bank."
Ms Stead was highly commended for the Innovative Business Woman of the Year Award category at the recent Illawarra Women in Business Awards.
And thought being innovative for all small businesses in the region was the least she could at such a difficult time for everyone.
"I am all about community," she said.
"And I am a huge advocate for small business."
Ms Stead said small business owners were visionaries with a dream. And she wanted to do something to help keep those dreams alive during the COVID-19 lockdown.
She is no stranger to doing and trying new things and wrote a book called 'Hey Mamma, Breathe, You're doing an amazing job' after her daughter Imogen was born four years ago. It is about the journey into motherhood.
"I also created a 'Hey Mamma' page to help bring a few smiles to other new mums," she said.
Above and Beyond Early Childhood Consulting page has 4000 followers and Ms Stead hopes the new page will give some exposure to all small businesses regardless of how few or how many followers they have on their social media platforms.
"So many people are having to close their doors and that truly breaks my heart," she said.
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