Your guide to new free tool boosting Tweed businesses
A HEARTBREAKING conversation with a Kingscliff restaurant owner during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred an IT guru to do what he can to support locals.
Channing Courtney-Eman was chatting to the owner of a Thai restaurant while waiting for a takeaway and noticed the woman was there alone.
Mr Courtney-Eman said the older woman was "rushing around" and he made a comment that she must have been busy.
The woman told Mr Courtney-Eman that her business was suffering and she was working alone because she couldn't afford to pay her staff.
"I felt so bad. Because of COVID she couldn't have her staff with her, and I thought, wouldn't it be great if there was a way that locals could be aware of her great food and takeaway options online or digitally," Mr Courtney-Eman said. "So, I thought of the idea of an online marketplace or hub for locals."
The IT and marketing guru worked on the website after hours and with the support of his mother, Kellie, Casuarina Way was launched.
"My mother is also the co-founder and came up with the name, drawing inspiration from the largest street that runs through Casuarina and to describe the way of life we all treasure in this area."
He built the site so local businesses and service providers could list their details in the hope it would become a go-to directory for tourists and locals.
"I moved to the area about six years ago and I'm still discovering new businesses I didn't even know about.
"I want to help everyone get through COVID and be discovered in the area.
"Some of them struggle with marketing and I want to lift these businesses up.
"It's completely free for the community to list their cafe, restaurant, event, stays, business or service.
"People can also post positions vacant, cars for sale or real estate."
The 23-year-old said his online marketplace differed from an existing Tweed tourism site because it targeted a "very tight-knit community" and was open to all types of listings.
The site is new and listings are few. You can post a free listing, visit casuarinaway.com.au