April - June 2022

As I sat down to write this article, I took a little time to get my head straight by relaxing for a moment and letting my thoughts run free. Surprise, surprise! The brain, instead of clearing, was flooded with images of the beach, the sand, surfing, fun, fellowship, food and drink and everything else that goes with a holiday at the beach.
For a few brief moments I was transported back to Pambula (South Coast NSW). The shoes, the long pants and the collared shirts were all gone and I was stretched out on the sand, collecting some rays—being careful to follow the rules to SLIP, SLOP, SLAP, of course.
Next thing the phone buzzed and the reality of real time in the workplace kicked back in and I started to jot some notes about this welcome.
While it does already seem like a distant memory, the fact I had the opportunity to recharge the batteries and get the mind back into gear was especially important for me and a great deal of the people I associate with in business. Iain Brown, Managing Director of Bordo International, is just one of a number of businesspeople who holiday in the same park and we all agree that this year, we needed an unbroken period of rest and relaxation so we could be up and running for 2022 and beyond (two years ago bush fires cut our stay in half and it was COVID a year ago.)
It has been a tough couple of years and even though it has not been exactly ‘business as usual,’ the industry segments our members operate in are travelling relatively well and all of us have survived. In fact, some have thrived because our market bases were kept going through various interventions by some state and federal government initiatives designed to stimulate the economy and because we were quick to react to required changes in procedures. There is no doubting we are all thankful for that.
While we now see some light at the end of the COVID tunnel, none of us are getting too excited as there will be the inevitable catch up to deal with at some stage. It maybe that this is already manifesting itself in product shortages brought on by a shortage in raw materials, and workplaces right around the world are being affected by staff shortages relating to COVID down times.
This coupled with increases in freight costs (especially in regard to imported products) may put some more hurdles in our way, but we will get over them and continue to move ahead as we all have in the past.
There is plenty of evidence that some have not done it as well as others but as a collective—how good are we Australians? During a global pandemic, which turned many lives upside down, we also had to deal with droughts, fire and flooding rains and we have still managed to keep the spirit going, thus illustrating exactly what a resilient pack of people we really are.
Listening to the news reports and sorting the wheat from the chaff, it is apparent that Australia (in total) has fared so much better than most countries around the world and we should be so proud of our achievement at a time of such great uncertainty. Surely, you would not want to live anywhere else. Well done, Australia!
Foot note: As a part of our fresh marketing initiatives, CSS, and its independently owned and operated members, would like to introduce you to Troy and Tracy Tradie (or as my partner prefers it, Tracy and Troy Tradie), A.K.A. The Tradie Twins, as our new ambassadors (see above).
The twins feature in the first of a series of coloring/activity books we have put together for those children that often come into our stores with their parents.
The books come with a small set of pencils and the opportunity for the kids to have their finished pics featured on the CSS website and on our Tradie Twin Wall in our office. The kits are free and details of how to send us your completed artwork are on the back page of the books. We hope it brings a little joy into the lives of those kids who get hold of them.