It would seem to the untrained eye that Majorca has just shut down, everything has screeched to a halt in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. This however is untrue. Majorca has a network of small and medium sized businesses who continue to operate. Not just because they do not want to lose custom, but because they have an obligation in many cases to carry on for their clients who need them.
Take the Majorca Daily Bulletin and the parent company Grupo Serra as an example, who continue to produce newspapers daily and distribute them to readers through the news-agent shops which are allowed to stay open, or by subscription and receive the paper directly at home.
However many of the companies in Majorca have had to change the way they do work, if a customer cannot leave their house to go to the business, then the business must in some way reach out and go to the customer. Quickly invented delivery services, online conferencing, social media and websites are all playing their part in this new look society we find ourselves living in at the moment, what if any of it will remain once the crisis has passed? What would you like to see? Once notorious for not being on any map for takeaway services, the village where I live in Andratx can now receive pizzas and chinese takeaways, sadly a curry still would probably be asking too much.
Yesterday I took delivery of an order of plants, herbs,seeds and soil from my local garden centre in Andratx, Cocos. All I had to do was send them a WhatsApp, (Magdalena (0034) 628 13 33 36, she speaks English and Spanish) enquire as to what they had in stock, order and then wait for them to bring it. I paid by card to reduce the risk of transfer of the virus and now I have plants to work with in my garden. These things for example I would love to see remain in place after our current storm has passed.
I spoke to some businesses in Majorca about how they have adapted to survive, and in some cases, thrive during our 'New Normal". If you do contact any of these businesses be sure to tell them that the Bulletin sent you. So let's start with a vital one in these trying times, wine.
Lara Corfield from Santa Catalina's Wine Industry said 'When the Covid lockdown was announced we initially saw our business tumble into oblivion as so much of it is reliant on restaurant! bar trade and tourism (for our wine tasting experiences). Tastings were cancelled, restaurants were contacting us to say they were closing for two months and facturas have since remained unpaid as there is no revenue to pay for them. Panic began to bubble to the surface. However, we very quickly realised we could be a source of help to the private client, as our tagline is 'Bringing wine to you' so it made sense to promote this aspect of our business more. We then started getting more requests for wine orders and also for wine gifts to be sent for a birthday or an engagement. Our business model has since become more personable as messages came in for advice on what to order at all times of the day. We now realize, moving onwards in the future, that we need to be much more accessible and price friendly for our private clients whilst still offering our niche products and supporting small, independent wine producers. This experience has been a massive learning curve!" You can contact Lara and Ivan from Wine Industry on firstname.lastname@example.org and also enter their competition in the Facebook group https:llwww.facebook.com/groups!Majorca-Mallorca where they are asking for poetry sub-missions to wine a very nice bottle of wine.
Aside from the public health service which is on the frontline of the virus, several private practices continue to operate. Hedda Clark from Club de Mar Medical said, "Dr Joh is in business, so are Dr Amit and Dr Stoma. Whilst not traditional 'businesses" they are there trying to help people in this time especially now to ease the pressure on the private hospitals which have all been put on standby to support the public health systems and cannot take any non emergency appointments." You can contact the doctors via email or phone. Drjoh@clubdemarmedical.com, Porto Pi call Hedda on 639 949 125.
Dr Amit is email@example.com, Palmanova tel 971 683 511.
Dr Stoma firstname.lastname@example.org Son Ferrer tel 871 201 007.
Dr Joe Arrindell said, 'The Care For Health osteopathy clinic is open at the moment two days a week, Monday and Wednesday in Port Calanova if you need help with back pain or any sort of rehabilitation or physical therapy." You can get more information about the clinic on carefourhealth.com and contact Joe via WhatsApp on (0034) 635 870 606 to make an appointment.
Specsavers in Santa Ponsa is available for emergencies only. Martin Blake said, "At Specsavers Opticas we care deeply about your health and wellbeing. Regrettably, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we've had to close our stores at this time. However, we will be offering an urgent service to our customers by phone. If your condition or query is urgent, please call us and we will do what we can to support you. All contact details can be found on our store pages, here: en.specsavers.es/stores."
Owner of Nice Price in Portals, Clare Jury, said "Nice Price supermarket is open, but we are doing shorter hours. Monday to Friday 10.00 to 17.00. Everyone is being very respectful and Helen is trying to keep everyone safe. There is no problem getting stock here so there is no need to panic." You can call them on 971 67 75 63.
Viveco are delivering, their most popular requests are reusable kitchen rolls, the zero waste home book and soap! Contact them online at viveco.co.
Lucy Ireland from the Bikini Beach Boutique and Spa in Palma is selling online gift vouchers for 12 months and will be selling their clearance beachwear online ASAP. You can contact her via bikini-beach.odoo.com.
If you are tired of cooking for yourself; or you are unable to due to illness, or just want to treat yourself then it could be time to call Helen Richards from Delicioso who are delivering pre-prepared and frozen gourmet meals to your door. Helen said "We are still offering our crew food service to yachts in lockdown and are also offering home deliveries for fresh and frozen meals and grocery delivery too. For anyone over 70 or in at risk groups they are also eligible for a discount." You can contact them on (0034) 971 699 221 or email email@example.com and see what they have on of-fer at deli-delicioso.com.
Vegan & Raw is open 4 hours a day Monday to Friday for delivery, "It's not easy, but we are doing it!" said the owner Beverly. veganandraw.es.
Admin support and advice
Rebecca Bellafont Evans from Mallorca Solutions said "We are still operating, it's very quiet of course, we are all working from home. There are still many services we can process while on lockdown, however official appointments at Government offices have been cancelled and therefore we need to reschedule for when "state of alarm is lifted". We are now insurance brokers too, so this side of the business is still very active. We are doing all of this via our call centre and online. " mallorcasolutions.com.
All schools have been closed, with some teaching their students online. Palma College is continuing to teach The college's principal, Jill Witcamp said, "I am still running Palma College from home and all staff are working. It is hard with all the uncertainties around the exam results this year, but hopefully next week we will have full details. Staff and students are amazing and we plan to keep teaching until the end of the academic year." palmacollege.com
Whether you are looking to improve your English or learn another language you will find that a lot of teachers are now giving classes via Skype or Zoom. Take a look at davies-business-english.com who primarily teach native German speakers business English or masterclasspalma.com who teach Spanish natives to communicate in English. And you can follow along every day with Amanda Jeffrey on the Majorca Daily Bulletin website and Facebook page as she teaches English to Spanish students.
Emma Boardman from Bambini Lingo said "Our TicToc Club has opened up online membership for free until the end of the lockdown which is great for children to maintain their language skills". Visit bambinilingo.com.
Vegan cooking classes
Chef Stephanie Prather said, "My cooking school has closed in-person classes until October, but we are still teaching online. We have students around the world learning how to cook vegan cheese, pastries, baked items, savory cuisine. Many are in lockdown and have said that our courses have provided them a sense of purpose as well as a routine to follow. We are still shipping our products (i.e. vegan egg mix, vegan macaron mix, vegan cheese flavouring) around the world. one student even has tested positive for the virus but is still cooking while self-isolating!" vegangastonomy.com.
Simon Rees said, "I'm still running Pooches hotel at the moment, I have doggy visitors drop in whilst their parents go shopping so that they can have extra fun!" Simon is based in Portixol, you can contact him via poocheshotel.com or call + 44 7900 887898.
The British Contractor is still open and working in the East of the island. Contact Steevie on (0034) 679 64 49 09.
Greig Mitchell is operating within reason but safety first he says, "We are the only company you need for installation and maintenance of English TV, Freesat, Sky, Sky Sports, BBC Sport, BBC, ITV, as well as audio systems and other types of professional installation. It is very confusing what we can and can't do but obviously people need their TV and we are doing our best to help" Contact him via mediatech-ib.com.
Buying a business and relocation
Meanwhile, Richard Craig from Greenpoint who runs an agency selling businesses in Majorca is still working and still getting enquiries for businesses! Richard said "I am getting enquiries from UK, Germany, South Africa, Asia from people looking to buy businesses and get away as soon as this dies down. They are looking at buying hostels, restaurants, bars etc". Why do you think they want to come here? "They see Majorca as a safe destination.I have lots of enquiries from South Africa, from clients looking to get a golden visa (i.e. if the buyer spends €1m euros on a business they get a guaranteed visa). They think this season will not be great but they do see it as an opportunity to try and get a good deal. But I am also getting Brits, who are not happy with things and want to come here, if they can buy before September then they can move under the old immigration rules". You can find Richard at greenpointcp.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +34 618 724 51.
Artist Mandy Racine is doing just fine. "I count myself as one of the lucky ones. I'm a self employed artist and work in my studio every day - effectively I've been `self isolated' for years as I work alone. I sold a painting last weekend (through an online gallery), wrapped and packed it and it was collected by DHL yesterday - thank-fully their service is continuing as normal." You can see Mandy's work at https://www.saatchiart.com/algaida.
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