Out in country Bywong, the hammers are still swinging on small residential contruction sites as building teams rush to weatherproof houses ahead of an expected extended business shutdown in the days to come.
Although companies like Hardwick Projects remain outside the shut-down on non-essential services as outlined by the ACT Chief Minister on Monday, Mitchell-based builder and company director Sean Hardwick knows this situation could change within hours.
"We have a couple of projects underway and those customers need to have their homes weather-proofed and protected in case I need to stand down our people and close the worksites," Mr Hardwick said.
"We aren't a large civil project operation where you have a lot of tradespeople on site at once, working in close company.
"We have only one or two carpenters working at each site and they have all been given very strict guidelines on how they work.
"But I'm also well aware of how fast-moving and fluid this health situation is and the need to keep everyone safe."
He said when the inevitable close-down arrives, as it has for many hundreds of businesses in Canberra already, it will be quite emotional.
"We're only a relatively new company and have just started to gather strong business momentum. I've got a great crew of people and we're all mates.
"But there are a lot of businesses and people out there feeling this pain."
One man who knows how to push through physical pain but is now facing it financially is Gaz Rees, a world-class Muay Thai fighter and trainer whose Choppers Gym at Dickson only opened its doors on December 1.
In a handful of months, the softly-spoken fighter has experienced all the highs and lows of starting his own business.
"We were training out of the University of Canberra but then fitted out and moved into the new Dickson venue in December," he said.
"It's rough starting any new business but then we had the bushfires and the smoke that came with them, and now the coronavirus.
"It's been very tough having to tell our customers and close our doors.
"We've had quite a few people cancel their membership but there are also some who are sticking with us."
He's now moving his Muay Thai, kickboxing and boxing classes online, using zoom video communications software and glofox software to manage the online registration.
"This moving classes into the online space is happening all over the world so I'm hoping people will stay with us on the journey," he said.
Mr Rees is also very much aware of the need for people to stay fit and engaged, not just for their physical health but their mental health, too.
"For me and a lot of people, training is like a form of meditation; it releases stress and for a while helps us forget what's happening in the outside world," he said.
"Everyone needs this now more than ever."
He said a major frustration he has experienced as a business owner is hearing all the promises of financial assistance but not knowing where to turn, as Choppers Gym was in operation such a short time that he hadn't yet filed his first Business Activity Statement with the tax office.
"We're just starting out, so we're in a grey space. There doesn't appear to be financial assistance on offer out there for new businesses like ours."
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