"We were determined to survive." How innovation is saving businesses during COVID-19.

Thanks to our brand partner, GoDaddy

Small businesses and entrepreneurs have felt the brunt of COVID-19’s restrictions and impacts, with many being hit hard.

But something that is inherent within these self-motivated, innovative and creative people, is their ability and willingness to take on a challenge, which is exactly what thousands of us have done throughout the pandemic.

Using their breadth of skills and resilience, small businesses and entrepreneurs have implemented some inspiring and engaging changes to both their offerings and outlooks. This has allowed them to not only save their businesses, but also to help prepare them for the next stage – or stages – of limbo between isolation and relaxed restrictions.

The #OpenWeStand campaign, created by online services platform GoDaddy, is helping to provide the tools, support and community everyday entrepreneurs and small businesses need to help them recover in the face of an unprecedented challenge, from offering free websites to social media templates.

In the spirit of #OpenWeStand, we’ve compiled a list of smart, savvy small businesses that have pivoted and shown the kind of innovation we can all take inspiration from.

The first four have done so with GoDaddy’s support, and we’ve also included a few of our favourite lady startups too.

Donna Gibb – Artist and owner of Party Art Works


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Brisbane artist Donna Gibb is one of the many small business owners whose physical doors have had to shut during COVID-19.

But that hasn’t stopped her from running her art classes by pivoting her services from a physical class to ones offered online. And in doing so, Donna has managed to establish and focus on an area that was always on the backburner.

“It has been my intention for the past three years to get and up and running, however I have been busy with other events,” Donna said. “The current situation has put a priority on getting my art classes online and business functioning.

“I’m currently shooting content to teach art to adults and children in an online platform, as well as facilitate webinars, online tutorials and workshops. Having an online presence is vital at this time, and I’m confident my customers will get just as much value from our online offerings as they would in the store and studio.”


Lucia Ossola – Ciao Bella – Italian lessons

Lucia Ossola, owner of Ciao Bella – The fun way to learn Italian is just one of many teachers who have had to…

Posted by GoDaddy on Friday, 10 April 2020

Due to social distancing restrictions, Lucia Ossola, owner of Ciao Bella, an Italian language school based in Brisbane, has used education technology to transform her physical classes to classes based online.

With group, or one on one video conferences available, Lucia is able to offer her service of bringing Italian culture and language to Australians, while adhering to social distancing restrictions. Bravo!

Rebecca – The Cheeky Chocolate Queen

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Mothers Day chocolates now at @fuzzywombatskitchen

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The cancellations of major events, and restrictions around everyday leisure and travel has meant that one of The Cheeky Chocolate Queen’s busiest times at Easter slowed right down.

Cafes, airports and hotels were the three biggest stockists of owner Rebecca Day’s chocolates. Because of the restrictions, Rebecca was left with hundreds of kilos of chocolate unused.

To solve this issue, the Adelaide chocolate maker decided to partner with local businesses to diversify her range, including making gift packs for Mother’s Day. It’s meant that she can continue operating, working with other small businesses in a way that benefits everyone.

Dean Salakas – The Party People Shop

Sydney’s Dean Salakas of The Party People Shop had to alter his product offerings and change his strategies when restrictions on social gatherings meant that most parties were cancelled.

Dean refocused his business’s products to both protect and entertain customers while self-isolating at home. This included developing a Coronavirus Survival Section – including at-home baking, dress-ups and arts and crafts products, as well as selling in demand items such as hand sanitiser and masks.


Bec – Hiphooray Mail

Lady startup Hiphooray Mail was able to tailor their business idea (and product) – celebrating from afar – to the current COVID-19 situation by offering a variety of ‘celebrations in a box’ including an iso birthday party pack. Very appropriate right now!

Described as a “mini party for one”, the pack includes: Chocolate Mug Cake, Sprinkles, Party Hat, Colourful Confetti, Party Blowout, Balloons, Birthday Candles, Party Napkin, Party Character Pin and Jelly Belly Jean Beans or Skittles. Add-ons include Prosecco. (I’ll take 10).

Erin – Cup and Spoon by Erin

Erin’s made-to-order homemade treats and celebration cake company was impacted greatly by COVID-19 restrictions,which closed down the craft and farmers’ markets that were an effective way of not only selling her products but also of promotion.

To cater for this, Erin has adapted her business model by reducing the range of baked goods she offers, reducing her minimum order quantity and by introducing a smaller Comfort Pack option for people to purchase as treats for themselves, family or friends – something to bring a sense of joy during what is a hard time for many.

She also conducts monthly pop-up sales via Instagram where customers can find a very sweet and tasty bargain.

Jude – Styling by Lumiere

Jude, from Styling by Lumiere transformed her personal styling business from in person consults to virtual wardrobe sessions completed online; including the very relevant advice on putting together your perfect working from home outfit.

Jude also caters for those self-isolation tidy-up urges by offering wardrobe clean up sessions, also done remotely.

Natalie – Pink Hibiscus

Skincare small business Pink Hibiscus has catered for our hygiene needs by creating its own hand sanitiser, which doubles as a surface cleaner.


The natural, vegan and cruelty-free products offer an alternative to many of the major supermarket and department store offerings and cater for our eco consciousness too.

Another great product from this lady startup is Hand Aid, a hand balm which helps alleviate dry hands (the common side effect of sanitiser); another great product offering to keep this skincare small business relevant and in demand through the pandemic.

Santina- Yellow Espresso

Yellow Espresso, a cafe usually filled with patrons, had to change the way they did business in order to survive.

Owner, Santina, said: “We were determined to survive, so we have had to adapt to the new conditions.”

From social distancing measures, implementing more takeaway options, partnering with a local delivery company to provide home and work deliveries, utilising Skip (a coffee pre-ordering system), to pre-grinding coffee beans for customers to use at home, as well as bringing takeaway coffee directly to the customer’s cars to limit contact.

With online being the clear saviour of many small business and entrepreneurs throughout this pandemic, and undoubtedly an important part of their future, it’s so important to have the right help on your side.

Open, we stand.

If you’re a small business looking for ways to innovate right now, GoDaddy can assist with the online tools and support you need to succeed online.

Feature images: Donna Gibb/Ciao Bella.


Without small business, we’re nothing. GoDaddy is rallying behind local businesses and entrepreneurs during this unprecedented time of change.

We’re supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country to adapt their offering online to stay open, so we keep communities safe and businesses afloat now during this time, and beyond. We’re focused on keeping Australia open for business, even if doors are closed. #OpenWeStand