What does a Kangaroo Island beekeeper and a digital marketing expert from Sydney’s inner west have in common? Bushfire.

The unlikely business pairing came about after ferocious bushfires devastated half the hives of the Island Beehive family business in January 2020.

The blaze also destroyed 90 per cent of the bee site locations on the famous tourist destination off the coast of South Australia.

The bushfires on the 160km long island were ignited by lightning strikes in the Flinders Chase National Park. Two people were killed.

In the aftermath, Island Beehive owner Sabrina Davis and her family realised the future cost of the destruction: “It was a huge income loss at the time and will affect us for months, if not years to come.’’

Rather than shut the Kingscote business and give up on the business established by Kangaroo Island-born Peter Davis, the family sought to use the digital potential of social media in reassuring existing customers and reaching new ones.

Our team matched Island Beehive to Paula O’Sullivan’s Possum Digital marketing consultancy in the trendy Sydney suburb of Newtown, NSW.

Paula’s digital marketing strategy harnessed the opportunities of the unscathed Island Beehive visitor centre and honey production factory where visitors can learn about the heritage of the purest remaining Ligurian bee colony in the world.

Tourists (when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted) can tour the site, taste honey and recharge at the small cafe serving its famous scones, coffee and honeycomb ice cream.

“Paula was extremely knowledgeable and a great match for our company needs,’’ Sabrina says. “We appreciate her pro bono help immensely during these difficult times.’’

Paula says she enjoyed sharing her marketing expertise to help another business: “The process of being matched was very easy, and I would recommend other professional services lend a hand where they can.’’

Help a Small Biz founder Renae Hanvin says it is an ideal outcome: “This is what it’s all about for us. There is nothing more satisfying than hearing how one business helps another. In some cases, it has literally meant saving someone’s livelihood, the difference between an open or closed shop door.’’

Are you a small business directly and indirectly impacted by the bushfires who needs help?

To request help, small businesses complete this simple form.

To offer help, business employees complete this simple form.

Suitable businesses will then be paired with business “buddies’’ who will help address their needs so they can recommence trading and go on to thrive.