A BENDIGO jewellery store has temporarily closed its shopfront for a second time this year as owners become increasingly concerned by Melbourne's COVID-19 clusters.
Gold Rush Jewellers will cut out contact with face-to-face customers for at least two weeks as Judy and Graeme Baker become increasingly worried about the health of their customers and themselves.
"This is not a decision we have taken lightly but please consider the Covid 19 is a very serious illness," they wrote in a text message to customers this afternoon.
"We are not willing to risk you, our family, friends or ourselves.
"We will still be working on finishing our current repairs & will contact you as soon as possible."
The store closed during the first lockdown because it was not an essential service.
Mrs Baker said some people had thought the store had shut for good but that was never the case, she said.
She and Graeme would decide whether to reopen the shopfront depending on whether Melbourne can bring its outbreak under control.
Gold Rush Jewellers is not the only business to start limiting its contact with patrons in Bendigo.
Hair salon Red Raven Studio closed for two weeks late yesterday afternoon after 270 Victorians were diagnosed with COVID-19 in one day earlier this week.
The business made the announcement on Facebook yesterday.
Be.Bendigo chief executive officer Dennis Bice said some of his business group's members had decided it was best to shut.
Most of his members had decided to stay open and work their way through the next few weeks.
"They have decided to do the best they can within the guidelines that we now have. They are doing everything right to make sure we keep being able to trade.
"That's really important. So is keeping people employed because that is a key driver of the economy."
Some businesses continued to do really well and have become slightly embarrassed by their success during the pandemic, Mr Bice said.
"They shouldn't be embarrassed, but they are feeling for all the businesses that are not doing so well," he said.
A small number of businesses had closed during the pandemic, though Mr Bice noted some of them had been influenced by other factors too, including a store owner who was already planning to retire this year.
Mr Bice urged people to keep following Bendigo's restriction rules so that businesses were not forced into new lockdown closures.
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