A small town who worked together to stop their local pub from closing down during the COVID-19 pandemic said it is almost up and running again.
Grong Grong is located in the NSW Riverina region and was hard hit when the pandemic set in.
But when word got out that their local – the historic Royal Hotel – was in trouble, a small group teamed up to create a unique model that would keep it from closing permanently.
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Cain Gawne told Today people could invest $5000 which gave them a stake in the 147-year-old venue’s success.
But with just 150 locals in town and an estimated $1 million price tag to keep the hotel open, $5000 each meant they were still coming up short.
“We offered that shareholding group out to a pretty broad base,” Cain said.
“Everybody took the model up. We have shares from the bottom of Victoria to New Zealand, people in Sydney, Northern NSW, so we sold shares almost everywhere.”
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The hotel’s kitchen is set to re-open this week and Cain said it is hoped the their unique funding model will also bring people to town from a broader base.
“The pub itself has been very well supported by the 150 locals and surrounding areas, but the project is about getting the broader community coming to support the hotel,” he said.
“We have people from 100km either side of the pub coming in. It’s what we designed the pub to do, it’s being supported very, very well at this stage.”
Watch the full segment above
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