Salads Made Fresh given grant boost as business recovers from downturn in sales during coronavirus pandemic

VICTORIA Point business Salads Made Fresh has been given a boost as staff work hard to bounce back from a significant drop in sales during the height of the coronavirus crisis.

RECOVERY: Salads Made Fresh is run by Jeff McEvoy and partner Darlene. The business' sales dropped by about 40 per cent during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Jordan Crick

RECOVERY: Salads Made Fresh is run by Jeff McEvoy and partner Darlene. The business' sales dropped by about 40 per cent during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Jordan Crick

The business has secured a $10,000 state government COVID-19 grant which will be invested in a software package to help improve factory operations.

Owner Jeff McEvoy said sales had dropped by about 40 per cent during the height of the coronavirus crisis but he was able to keep all staff employed thanks to the JobKeeper scheme.

The business did not close at any stage despite a drop in customers and continued to serve hospitals, including Redland and Greenslopes, and local clients like Pattemore's Meats and Banjos.

Mr McEvoy said there was a glimmer of hope for the future as schools and customers returned but the volume of sales was still impacted.

Redlands MP Kim Richards said the business played an important role in the community and were successful under stage one of the COVID-19 adaption grant program.

"Businesses like Salads Made Fresh not only provide services to the community by supplying local hospitals with fresh and nutritious local Queensland meals but also employ Queenslanders and help our economy keep moving," she said.

FOOD: Salads Made Fresh owner Jeff McEvoy checks out some of the business' creations with Redlands MP Kim Richards and Employment Minister Shannon Fentiman. Photo: Jordan Crick

FOOD: Salads Made Fresh owner Jeff McEvoy checks out some of the business' creations with Redlands MP Kim Richards and Employment Minister Shannon Fentiman. Photo: Jordan Crick

Mr McEvoy said he and partner Darlene, who together bought the business in 2018, had remained positive during the pandemic.

"It is fine when you are getting results but when you don't get results, it is easy to go through like a grieving process," he said.

"We asked ourselves 'what can we do with what we've got and how are we going to approach this?'.

"That's when you look for opportunities and step out of the oh my god phase and look at how you can cope."

Employment Minister Shannon Fentiman said part of the plan for Queensland's economic recovery was to support local businesses and jobs.

"We know our small businesses have been doing it tough during the global coronavirus pandemic ...," she said.

"Because of the great job we have done on the health response ... we can now start delivering Queensland's plan for economic recovery."

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