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Published: May 3, 2020 | Updated: May 3, 2020

Dorset Biz News round-up: Planet Zero Waste, Rural Ladies in Business, Meyers Estate Agents

Laurraine Veal, Owner, Planet Zero Waste.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Planet Zero Waste – and ‘Olive’ – prove a lifeline during pandemic

An enterprise which sells waste and plastic-free household and personal care products and dried food is proving to be a lifeline to elderly and vulnerable people during the pandemic.

Laurraine Veal, owner of Planet Zero Waste is continuing to serve the communities from her eco-van ‘Olive’.

She has been travelling around towns and villages including Hamworthy, Bere Regis, Milborne St Andrews, Broadstone and Corfe Mullen.

A newly available home delivery service has proved particularly popular.

With people self-isolating at home during the pandemic, Laurraine has continued with her usual stops while ensuring to work at a safe distance from customers.

Customers are also observing social distancing rules as they queue up to buy goods from ‘Olive’.

Laurraine said: “They’ve said I’m a life saver by continuing to come to their towns and villages and are grateful that I am still operating.

“I’m just really happy to help.

“My customers are able to get the food and essentials they need without putting themselves at risk by visiting busy stores or needing to travel, and more people are being introduced to the benefits of plastic and waste-free shopping.”

As well as providing many locally sourced food products and household goods, Laurraine is also making her own including fabric face masks which are selling well.

She is a keen seamstress and runs another business selling clothing and accessories.

Laurraine said: “The whole idea behind Our Planet Zero Waste is that we want to be able to help more people shop the zero-waste way.

“Hopefully, those who are trying us for the first time during the pandemic, will carry on shopping plastic free after this is all over as every little helps.”

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‘Rural Ladies in Business’ moves online

A rural business consultant has moved her networking group online as a result of the lockdown.

‘Rural Ladies in Business’ is the idea of Bryony Parker, pictured left.

Launched in January it held two successful face to face meetings before being affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Members ranged from bed and breakfast owners and a cosmetic tattooist to a pet food distributor and insurance broker.

The group has now moved online via Zoom.

The second virtual meeting attracted attendees from as far afield as London and France as well as Dorset.

It included a catch up, introduction and shared hints and tips.

Such has been the popularity that Bryony is moving the virtual meetings to fortnightly.

The next is on Tuesday May 12 at 10am.

Bryony, who has more than 30 years’ experience in finance, founded BP Business Consultancy in 2018.

The consultancy helps businesses become more efficient and profitable.

“Like everyone else I am feeling the pain, but the lockdown is having a dreadful impact, especially in rural areas,” said Bryony, who lives in Verwood.

“Many rural businesses rely on locals. They just don’t have the footfall.

“My advice continues to be that businesses should think about how they go forward.

“Cashflow, of course, is critical and keep control of overheads and purchases.

“It is very difficult but also try and keep a positive outlook.

“I accept that’s not easy but it’s so important.”

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Estate agent helps distrubute much-needed hand sanitiser

A Dorset estate agent has played a leading role in distributing hand sanitiser to care homes, taxi companies and other key workers.

Poundbury-based Meyers became involved after Susie Palin, pictured left, who is due to take over the agency’s Blandford franchise, assisted Downton Distillery to get its much-needed sanitiser to local outlets.

The sanitiser, produced by the distillery at cost price, has been delivered in five and ten litre quantities.

Susie said: “A lot of care homes, schools and small essential businesses have been off the main distribution channels and desperately need the hand sanitiser.

“I have been distributing it in my area following social distancing rules and government guidelines.

“However, I wanted to involve other branches of Meyers and it’s become a real team effort.

“Lots of people need help and we’ve been only too happy to assist in the distribution.”

Meyers will have seven branches, including Poundbury, when Susie officially starts trading.