NEW ERA: 8 Gympie businesses to open or expand this year
COVID-19 presented - and in many ways still presents - significant challenges to businesses all over the world.
Some Gympie region businesses were forced to say goodbye last year, while others scrambled to work around the pandemic and stay afloat.
That's why it has been especially refreshing to see new local ventures emerge or build on their foundations, defying the tough economic climate to share their ideas and services with the community.
Here are eight Gympie businesses that have either expanded or been welcomed to the region altogether so far in 2021:
New tapas and wine bar set to tantalise tastebuds on Mary St
Inspired by the lively bars of Mexico, the all new PKO Art & Wine is a "refined" gallery bar bringing back good old-fashioned service with a smile.
Opening his new passion project less than a week ago, owner and artist Peter O'Brien said the community's response has been "enormously positive" with many saying Gympie "has been missing something like this".
"I put all of my savings into setting it up and so of course I'm nervous about how things will go, but everyone that has come through the doors has been really encouraging," Mr O'Brien said.
Mum brings 'gypsy' to Gympie with new boho boutique
After seeing a golden opportunity in the lack of bohemian clothing boutiques in Gympie, a local mother and fashion-lover decided to follow her passion and open Desert Dream.
As the first store to open in the newly renovated Condies Arcade, Desert Dream offers a range of bohemian clothing pieces in sizes 6-16 and western-style accessories.
Owner Brooke Parsons moved to the region from the Sunshine Coast more than a year ago and felt there was a need for a unique women's clothing store.
New Gympie business 'satisfies a niche that's really needed'
Greeting Mary St shoppers with a bright pink sign, Pina Colada is Gympie's newest women's clothing boutique for all sizes that aims to provide "well-priced quality" items.
Bernie Ey, the owner of Pina Colada Gympie and Pina Colada Bribie Island said her business that opened in November last year offers "old fashioned service" and "friendliness".
Stocking local and overseas pieces, available in sizes up to 26, Pina Colada has something for every woman.
Gympie region alternative to taxis and Uber is smashing it
A Curra couple has been "overwhelmed" by the response they have received to their new business, which offers locals needing a lift somewhere an alternative to catching a taxi or an uber.
Showfa has been going for almost a year now and will take its customers as far as Brisbane.
After recently moving to Curra, Sue and Troy Dunne quickly realised the lack of transport and employment options in the area.
'New banking hub' reno underway at Gympie NAB branch
NAB in Mary Street closed its doors to customers earlier this month while renovations are completed for a 'new banking hub'.
On the front of the building a sign has been set up that provides some details on the updated branch.
"Behind these walls, we're not just building a new banking hub, we're building something much more important," the sign stated.
Grand opening of the new Gympie RSL
Celebrations were in full swing for the opening of the newly renovated Gympie RSL in January.
Friends and family gathered from all across the region to experience the modernised three-level restaurant and bar.
Gympie RSL Club CEO Steve Lancaster said it was an emotional day as the renovations have been two years in the making.
New store set to replace Target Gympie
It's out with the old and in with the new as Gympie welcomes a new K Hub store to replace the Target in Goldfields Plaza.
Target officially closed on February 6 and conversion works will start shortly after with a planned reopening imminent.
A Kmart spokesperson said K Hub will offer the Kmart experience, just on a smaller scale.
Gympie business plans to expand with 8th building
A Gympie self-storage business unveiled plans to expand and add more than a dozen new storage rooms to its facility.
Ezicost has lodged an application with Gympie Regional Council to build a new storage shed on the 1.18ha Cogan St block it has called home since the days of Gympie City Council.
It would be the eighth storage facility on the block.