Waddle Stories

How a Waddle customer kept his business from going under

Russ Watts  •  15 March, 2022

2022 Queensland floods

Donny is a long-time Waddle customer and founder of the Australian Skateboarding Community Initiative, which organises and hosts skateboarding events around the country. Following a disruptive couple of years with COVID-19, he was hoping life was about to go back to normal. That was until the Brisbane River burst its banks in the recent floods and he was forced to evacuate his office.

Evacuating the office

"Our office is Fairfield, not far from the Brisbane River. The rain came in over about 4 days. I had a weird feeling it was going to break the banks of the river at some point. There are 3 creeks here and I’d seen 2 of them go so I decided to evacuate the office. I got all of our major event equipment out so our staff could keep working."

Cleaning up after the floods
The office in Fairfield, QLD after the floods

"About 4 hours after that most of Brisbane started going under. In 24 hours our office went from minor flooding to over the roof. Some of the people around that area were trapped in their homes with no power. The river came up on one side and the creeks on the other, so they were trapped on an island in the middle."

"We have been kayaking around residential areas supplying people stuck with power packs and supplies."

Ground zero

"Rocklea, a suburb near the office, is ground zero. There have been some people looting, so the locals cut off every street and are letting people in and out."

Queensland Floods 2022
Donny's office in Fairfield, Queensland

"Getting work done has been impossible. The office is underwater and in my house we’ve got kids from local families that are flooded, so their parents can get to work cleaning up the house."

"I went through this in 2011 and business just stops. You go out and help the homes. The reality is that people need beds before they need an office, so the businesses don’t get cleaned up quickly. You just help clean up the homes and once people are back in, they'll help you clean up your business."

Getting a limit increase from Waddle

"We run community skateboard events and most of our customers are local councils. Many of them have been impacted, so they’re busy helping people, working with emergency services, cleaning up. It’s going to delay the payment of our invoices a bit."

Donny and the volunteers
Donny with fellow volunteers assisting with the clean-up

"We have a good number of unpaid invoices and I knew our funding limit was below this so the first thing I did was get on the phone to Waddle to discuss a limit increase. I didn’t know if we’d have access to the internet or banking or power for a while."

"Following COVID we were just about to restart events and now many of those will have to be pushed back or cancelled. This really affects our cash flow. If an event in March gets pushed back to April and then that’s one weekend where we can’t run another event. There are only so many weeks of the year to do it all. We’re just hoping pretty soon to get back to some form of normality without floods, fires or pandemics."

Read more about Donny here.

If you've been impacted by the floods in NSW & QLD

Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the floods in NSW and QLD. We hope you and your families, friends and colleagues are safe and well and we look forward to better times ahead.

We realise that this is putting additional pressure on businesses that are only just starting to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown. The Waddle team is here to help you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you require any assistance.

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