Ranka Rasic is one of many Brimbank business owners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. She spoke with Tate Papworth about the challenges she’s had to overcome.
What’s your connection to Brimbank?
Since migrating to Australia in the ’90s, the western suburbs has been my home. I’ve raised my family, worked and now own a business in our local area.
What do you like best about the area?
The western suburbs is a melting pot of different cultures. Since calling the west my home, I’ve met so many people from different backgrounds and walks of life. My family and some of my closest friends live and work in our local area and like me, have raised their families in our friendly suburbs.
What could be improved?
Our support services for the most vulnerable members of our community should be expanded – like mental health and services for our ageing population. Small businesses, especially after the fallout of COVID-19 need to be better supported by local council. Some of our parks in Brimbank look the same since I first started living in our local area in the ’90s. I’d like to see our parks upgraded, more trees planted across our suburbs and more community open spaces for our growing population.
Tell us a little about your business?
I’ve been the proud owner of Xena for Hair & Beauty for about seven years now. All of my staff live locally. We offer a range of hair, makeup and beauty services.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted it?
COVID-19 has had significant impacts on my business. At certain stages we were restricted with the services we could provide our customers. During the pandemic, hairdressing was temporarily considered non-essential before again becoming an essential service. We definitely experienced a great deal of uncertainty and even had to significantly reduce our operating hours.
How have you adapted to the pandemic?
Xena for Hair and Beauty has been operating under strict social distancing guidelines. We only allow a certain amount of customers into our shop and offer everyone hand sanitiser. Once a client leaves our salon, we ensure that the work station, basin and any other area used by the client is thoroughly cleaned. At the end of every day, we shut the salon and give it a really good clean using disinfectants and antibacterial products to help prevent the spread of any bacteria or germs.