Clean break from normal business

It was business as usual just a month ago for Sirron Group, churning out commercial dishwashers and cleaning products at its premises in Caves Beach. But all that changed with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company has become one of a growing number of local businesses rapidly adapting, evolving and retooling to save jobs and contribute much needed health supplies. Realising the growing need for, and critical shortage of hand sanitiser, the company quickly changed direction. The Caves Beach site is now operating 20 hours a day, churning out about 1,500 litres of hand sanitiser every hour.

“We have focused on local households and business first in the Hunter, Lake Macquarie and Central Coast areas, and are shipping across Australia every day,” Sirron Managing Director Greg Gates said. The substantial local demand has had flow-on benefits for other businesses doing it tough during the current lockdowns. Lake Mac florist Kate Woodley, whose primary work via her business Two Wild Hands evaporated almost overnight, is now using her flower van to deliver Sirron’s hand sanitiser to local buyers.

Lake Macquarie Mayor Cr Kay Fraser said it was fantastic seeing local business collaborating and supporting each other. Sirron’s 30 staff members, many of whom are trained in welding and other trades, have shifted their focus to producing hand sanitiser, saving their jobs in the process. Seeing that adaptability – both externally and within his own team – has been heartening for Mr Gates, whose wife is a nurse on the frontline of the pandemic.

Not only that – demand for the new product has been so great that Mr Gates has had to put on 10 new staff.

Read more in the Winter issue of Hunter&Coastal Lifestyle Magazine or subscribe here