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Signage and print industry hit hard by SA lockdown

Most of South Australia’s signage and print industry will be closed during the state’s six-day “circuit breaker” lockdown that began at midnight on Wednesday, according to the Australian Sign & Graphics Association (ASGA).

empty morning streets in Adelaide on day one of the lockdown ABC Adelaidetwitter
 Empty streets in Adelaide on Thursday morning, day one of the lockdown (ABC Adelaide/twitter)

From Thursday, schools, universities and most businesses in SA, including hospitality venues and construction, will be closed for six days to stop a new cluster of Covid-19 cases from spreading further. Businesses remaining open will include supermarkets, petrol stations, bottle shops, post offices, banks and medical services.

mick harrold
  "The six days will fly by...there
      will be no time for Netflix"

   - Mick Harrold, ASGA Vic chair

“The signage and print industry will for the most part be closed, “ said Mick Harrold, ASGA Vic Chair in an advisory note to members on Wednesday.

“Having been through this in Victoria, I thought I might give you some insight on what might be allowed and what isn't,” Harrold said.  “Firstly, your lockdown seems to be a step harsher than ours was. In Victoria, parts of the Construction industry were still permitted to work.  The upside to your rule is that it is much clearer than ours was.  Unless you are doing essential signage or print, then you will most likely not be allowed to be at work.  In your case, it seems that "Essential Work” will be just that – Essential Work.  This will include COVID signage and any safety signage and not much more.

“But that is only about onsite works. Offsite works from your homes will be possible and you should use this time wisely.  And keep checking the news.  Things may change fast.”

Harrold suggested that ASGA members should “get your houses in order tonight [Wednesday] as it may be difficult to come back to your workplace.”

The measures he recommends include:

Do whatever you need to do to keep your printers maintained

Grab computers and any specialised equipment you may need

Grab webcams and make sure your staff have them

Load computers into your staff's cars so they have no excuse not to work

Sort out your phone systems

Ensure your factories are locked securely (break-ins become enticing now as potential burglars know that no-one is at your factory).

“One member has already asked if you can go into your workplace if you have equipment that needs to be kept maintained and to service that equipment,” Harrold said.  “My thought is that if you are going to do something and you are not sure if it is legal, then just make sure you have thought it through; you are doing it safely and have a well thought out excuse if you are questioned. The truth is that the police will understand the rules just as well as you are.  If you aren't being a nuisance and doing risky behaviour, then the police will have bigger fish to fry.”

asga UnknownHe said there was “heaps” that businesses can do to continue working while in lockdown, including:

Update your web page

Work on your marketing material

Ring clients and do sales calls

Work on your business systems and IT software

Have a virtual meeting with your staff and work out the problems with your company.  Do you always have problems with some kind of production?  Well spend some time sorting out a method of work that eliminates the problems.

Online learning:  There are heaps of free courses out there that you can do.  Get your staff to learn how to use CAD or write 
professional emails, or maybe a quick financial or sales course.  There is so much to learn.

Research some new equipment to buy.  The instant asset write-off is available and maybe some retail therapy is what you need :)

“Rest assured – the six days will fly by," Harrold said. “There will be no time for Netflix I can tell you that for free!  And this is a hard lockdown for all, so no-one is going to steal your clients or your work, because no-one else can operate either.”