KICKING COVID: Ben Pepper’s expansion is a determined move to beat widespread business closures.
KICKING COVID: Ben Pepper’s expansion is a determined move to beat widespread business closures.

Business fights back against coronavirus with expansion

THOSE wanting to tick experiences off their bucket lists following easing restrictions have been welcomed by one sporting business, fighting back, and winning, against coronavirus closures.

For owner of Grow Strong MMA Ben Pepper, being closed earlier this year can be best described as “a whole nightmare.”

Back in April, Pepper told the Warwick Daily News his mental health had taken a “severe hit” following the pandemic lockdown.

“The business was closed for 3—4 months, and that’s a large loss of income,” he said.

“But we didn’t want a $15,000 fine so we stopped.”

Now Pepper was bouncing back, looking to expand his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes to Goondiwindi, and gaining more interest than ever.

“We’re significantly busier than we were before we closed,” he said.

“We have a bunch of new people in each location (Warwick, Stanthorpe and Inglewood) so I’m feeling very lucky in that part of my life.

“I think when you’re shut away from everyone you go ‘I always wanted to do that thing’, and now we’re reopened, they’re thinking ‘might as well do it now’.”

Posting his interest for a Goondiwindi session space on Monday, Pepper has already had 25+ messages wanting to know when he could start.

He said, with borders closed to a Moree martial arts gym, the closest class would be his Inglewood session — over an hour away, leading to the demand.

“I think as far as little towns go, they’re isolated and having something new is a little bit exciting,” he said.

“Martial arts is like a physical chess game. It’s the same dopamine hit as when people play video games and beat a level. It’s addictive.”

If you have a space for Pepper to host his Goondiwindi sessions, contact him on 0479 131 464 or via his Facebook page.



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