Businesses faced big challenge

A number of Stawell's Main Street businesses were fortunate to survive the challenge that Monday's five hour power outage presented to them.

While all businesses agreed they lost trade throughout the outage, some compromises ensured doors could remain open during the difficult period.

Fay Notting from Lillies and Lattes, said she was fortunate that her quick thinking husband Brian collected the generator from the family farm to allow the business to still access a power source.

"It wasn't ideal, but we sent workers home and ran with a skeleton staff throughout the day," Mrs Notting said.

"Brian brought the generator in and parked it in the alley way. That kept two fridges going and powered our coffee machine.

"We still had to throw a bit of food out, but most was saved thanks to the generator."

With the two fridges running, Lillies and Lattes were still able to serve some breakfasts early, but Mrs Notting stopped the process mid-morning to conserve power.

"Our customers were very understanding," she said.

"They were content to sit around and have a chat while enjoying a coffee and a biscuit. We actually sold quite a few biscuits during the day."

Downstairs at the Hammer and Gad, husband Brian turned to traditional methods of keeping the beer cold for customers.

"He used the old fashioned ice box filled with ice and ran the beer through that," Mrs Notting said.

"It kept the customers happy and ensured we got through. It was just a case of doing what we could under the circumstances.

"I am frustrated though that this was the second power outage this year.

"I really feel for those who didn't have a husband or a partner around to grab a generator and help out. I guess they just closed their doors."

Denise Pappin from the Stawell Authorised Newsagency said the business was able to continue operating, but several compromises had to be made along the way.

"We kept going as well as we could under the circumstances," she said.

"Because we need to keep such accurate records, we wrote everything down as sales were made and then we scanned it in later when the power came back on.

"We literally had the lady holding the lamp while work was going on.

"I think the power outage would have been a terrible experience for the cafes and hairdressers who rely on electricity for everything. I feel sorry for those who were impacted severely, but here, we just did what we could."

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