Bega Shire cinema recovers with help from Business Support Group

Twin Picture Show Man Cinemas in Merimbula have received help from the Business Support Group to help them recover from the impact of bushfires and COVID-19.

The cinema lost its peak summer activity during the black summer bushfires and was then forced to close when the pandemic struck. On top of that, the global film distribution system has all but come to a halt due to COVID-19, leaving theaters without blockbuster movies on screen.

Jesse Tankard has taken over the reins from Dennis Parkes, founder and longtime owner of twin theaters The Picture Show Man, and notes: “It was truly a ‘mission impossible’ from a business standpoint. We were in a situation where we had no customers and no product to sell. “

The Business Bushfire and COVID-19 grants helped Tankard keep the business operational, and he requested a $ 50,000 business loan as a buffer if the pandemic restrictions continued. Job Keeper also played an important role in keeping permanent staff on the books.

Through the Business Support Group (BSG), Tankard was introduced to Rhys Treloar of the REWiRE program, to help establish the company’s financial position, some important success metrics, a break-even analysis and a REWiRE grant. $ 5,000 for him to spend on accounting software training and updating his signage.

BSG member Kaye Keogh of the Australian Small Business Advisory Service is helping Tankard and his team audit their digital services so Jesse can run a targeted digital marketing campaign to drive ticket sales throughout the year.

Another BSG member, Dales Whyte of Business Connect, helps Tankard produce videos he can use for social media promotion, and BSG member, Steve Millott of Strengthening Business is helping filmmaking by connecting digital expertise to build an online marketing strategy.

In the new “normal” business environment things are slowly getting back on track and the NSW Dine & Discover vouchers have been very helpful in bringing people back to the movies.

“Although the distribution of blockbuster films is slow, it has paved the way for many independent films, especially Australian ones,” Tankard said.

Tankard has shown genuine determination and resilience to continue its activities and the support of GSO has now enabled it to be in a strong position to prosper and develop.

Image by Jesse Tankard Credit: Bega Shire Valley Council

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