Entrepreneur Lockdown Diaries: Crawfords Beach Lodge

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Who are you and what kind of business do you run?

Crawfords Beach Lodge is a family run business and have been in existence since 1976.  We are situated along the Wild Coast, about 42 km from East London.  We are situated right on the Indian Ocean with the most spectacular beach and ocean views.   We are easily accessible from the East London airport and a favourite stop over for overseas tours on their way to Cape Town, or Durban.

 

Why do you love what you do?  

The Crawford Family have been in the hotel business for more than 50 years and worked at many of the Wild Coast hotels over this time, making good friends.  The families have followed us from year to year and now the children and grandchildren are enjoying our family resort and what we have to offer.  Our staff are all local and have climbed up the ladder to Management level and Senior Chefs.   Most of our staff have been with us for many years and some are the grown-up children of staff that have worked for us over this time.   We also love the business because it has enabled to have our children growing up with us and not having to leave them to go work elsewhere.  

 

How is your business affected by the lockdown?

The business has been affected tremendously, as all our Tour Operators from overseas have had to cancel. Our Easter Holiday guests were not able to take up their reservations, and weddings and conferences have all had to be either cancelled or postponed as well.

 

What are your thoughts on how COVID19 is affecting the small business sector at large?

The small business operators are going to struggle to get business back, as most people now will not afford to take weekends and holidays away until their own businesses are up and operational again.

 

What support have you received from the private/public sector if any?

At this stage, we have not received much support financially, but we have been given a payment holiday on our working capital loan from Merchant Capital, which ordinarily assists us in growing our offering. As a non-essential business, we continue to apply for funding so that we are able to re-emerge post the lockdown.

 

What are you currently actioning to ensure business continuity and that you re-emerge stronger after the lockdown has lifted?

At this stage we have requested that we increase the bond on one of our buildings that we were going to finish paying off in October.

We are also busy with advertising online and via social media, keeping our guests informed of all goings on with facebook posts etc.

We also have plans to renovate one of our front sea-view buildings into a wedding and function venue, as we are sure that weddings will be part of our future, as people still get married, even in troubled times.

 

What is your advice for other business owners?

Ask your bank or financial institution to put a hold on their debits until the business is open again.

Try source funding from different institutions.

Apply for UIF payments for the staff.

Use this time to re-invent yourself and think of all the positives.

 

How do we get in touch and support you during this time?

We are a non-essential service, so while we cannot currently accommodate you, we are still here to answer any questions or booking enquiries post lockdown. Visit our website at www.crawfordsbeachlodge.co.za or email us info@crawfordsbeachlodge.co.za for more information.

You can also visit out social media pages where we are still showing you around our beautiful lodge and engaging with our community:

Instagram @crawfordsbeachlodge

Facebook @CrawfordsBeachLodge

Twitter @CrawfordsLodge

 

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