Coronavirus sparks local business boom

WHILE many businesses are closing their doors or seeing a substantial decrease in sales due to many families feeling the weight of financial pressures, one Roma business has been booming.

Employee of Roma Outdoor & Sports, Amy Heath said sales have "skyrocketed" since the closure of all gyms and fitness centres last month.

"Looking around the store there's so many empty shelves," she said.

"We've been selling heaps of gym balls, foam rollers and mats. The sort of equipment nobody would have themselves at home, because they would go to a gym to use it.

"We've also been selling equipment we wouldn't normally sell, like gym bench, and then there's a massive body building gym set which someone is picking up."

Ms Heath said while the significant increase in sales has been a welcome financial benefit, it has been very stressful for herself her parents and owners of the store, Tony and Angela who have been working around the clock to try and fill orders.

Ms Heath said they are being inundated with calls daily, with gym junkies desperate to get their hands on boxing equipment, dumbbells and benches to tide them over.

"It's been crazy," she said.

"When we heard gyms were closing, we expected to see an increase in sales but not to this extent.

"It seems like as soon as we unpack the palettes and put it on the floor, majority of the equipment is gone within 48 hours."

The team is doing everything they can to ensure they are meeting the demand, but with dumbbells and boxing equipment in high demand across the country, it has been impossible to keep a steady supply of stock.

Experts are predicting that gyms won't reopen until after winter in September and even then there could still be restrictions, with a staged rollout to get back to normal.

Roma Outdoor & Sports who had to the halt sales of firearms, ammunitions and accessories before the backflip on the 'non-essential business' classifications said the boom in gym equipment was their saving grace.

Fortunately, a campaign by farmers backed by the LNP to reverse Labor's unnecessary closure of essential licensed armourers and dealers during the COVID-19 health crisis was successful and they were able to continue selling.

"Both sides of the shop have really picked up," Ms Heath said.

"It's in unfortunate circumstances but we've at least doubled our sales."

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