05.07.21

A NEW NORM

It’s hard to recall the time where we were preoccupied, googling at destinations for the next holiday, or starting that dream job, looking on to the next adventure or even waiting for the latest lipstick drop. Fast forward to now, our new normal across the world.

The COVID-19 pandemic has gifted us with ‘business as unusual’, an unusual we all have to find acceptance. A massive upheaval that would no doubt take longer than a week to get a hang of.  My advice… go easy, relax, find time to ground yourself, take time in nature and allow yourself time to get into your own flow. 

Not everyone transitioned unscathed from the adjustment to the 24/7 life with a partner, flatmates who don’t believe in boundaries, homeschooling with a calculator and/or Working from Home (WfH). Regrettably some people have been dealt a bad hand: sudden unemployment, business owners forced to scale back on operations to stay afloat, making the painful decision to close shop. 

In the affect of this new norm we are still learning to navigate and make sense of this collective reality. On a personal level, I have felt a great sense of helplessness. I have been confronted with my own privilege; the ease of being able to self-isolate and live in a country where the system is well-equipped to manage a pandemic as best as possible. This is not the case for many people around the world, particularly those in refugee camps and developing economies, much of whom are without the luxury of running water and shelter. 

With my own plans a bit up in the air, I have been searching for ways to channel my energy to help.  These past few weeks have been extremely challenging for our business communities, especially small and medium enterprises. The pace of change and the impact on businesses, particularly on the engine of our economy, small and medium enterprise, is impossible to ignore. 

For this reason, our first newsletter in nearly two years (post travel with a brief stint in Melbourne followed by a study hiatus) is dedicated to small businesses. They have borne the brunt of the pandemic and I want to rally the support of our dear community to buy local to help these businesses stay afloat. We have been beneficiaries of the generosity and the support of a number of small businesses that we would be highlighting today and in the coming weeks for you to get behind. 

STRONGER TOGETHER - SUPPORT LOCAL 

Our first two businesses in this feature are Karma Cola and People’s Coffee. These two companies have been with us since day one, and are businesses whose ethos we admire and relate to. 

Karma Cola 
The organic, fair trade soft drink company has become a staple here in New Zealand. Karma Cola is committed to community and transparency, and with each batch, sends a portion of profits back to their producers in Africa. You can read about the good work they do through the karma cola foundation here

People's Coffee
Over the past 15 years, People's Coffee has become synonymous with Wellington. They don't shy away from the responsibilities to the environment while being honest and open when it comes to their production.  People's Coffee has always had a strong community focus, never hesitating to lend a helping hand. You read about the amazing work they have done through their community development project here

Ways to support
Shop online for Karma drinks and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
Shop online for People's Coffee and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

FINDING THE SILVER LINING 

COVID-19 pandemic has not been all doom and gloom. It has bestowed us with new hobbies, crazy memes, virtual catch ups and a chance to WfH. Unless you’ve been hibernating or living under a rock, you would have noticed the upsurge in the number of people professing to have taken up or are attempting new hobbies to pass time or as coping strategies. We have a shortage of flour, thanks to our promising hottest home bakers. Let’s not forget the exercise bunnies,  the literary luminaries and the novice language nerds. 

We might not be helpful in the baking department but we have sampled a list of our favourite online resources and classes to get you through the lockdown. The complete beginners yoga with Adriene is helping to stretch out our aches and pains. New to WfH? Don't worry, we got you covered. Checkout these crowdsource tips from Sifted readers.  

Learning a new language like me for the 100th time? We are enjoying the Memrise free app for languages. Sifted, an FT-backed news site is our go-to for insight about all the happenings in the European startup ecosystem. Head to Coursera or FutureLearn if you are looking to acquire a new skill set. 

It is okay if you're struggling to adapt to the pace of change. However, isolation and a pandemic does not mean loneliness, please reach out via the many forms of technology and social networks to your friends, colleagues or neighbours and lend a helping hand if you can. Remember to follow all the precautionary measures for COVID-19. We are in this together. 

Eat well, keep active and stay in your bubble. 

Best wishes 

Pinaman 

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