If drought and bushfires weren’t enough COVID-19 and the associated restrictions have certainly made operating a small business difficult.
Social distancing has meant many businesses have had to significantly modify their operations. The hospitality and tourism sectors have been heavily impacted by having to reduce their hours or even close their doors completely for the foreseeable future. Additionally, may farmers and producers without a shopfront have had to contend with the cancellation of markets and events.
Many are adapting by offering online sales and deliveries or even diversifying the products or services they offer. With Mother’s day just over a week away, you can do your bit by supporting a local business when shopping for a gift this year.
Many big businesses now routinely use social media in their marketing campaigns, but trending hashtags, such as #buylocal and #buyfromthebush, have shown that consumers want to support local communities.
The #buyfromthebush campaign was started in 2019 to encourage city consumers to support drought stricken farmers and small rural businesses. In social media terms it was a huge success, attracting 130,000 followers in 7 weeks and boosting rural postage figures by 40%. And for good reason. Every dollar spent in the local community makes a difference, particularly in rural and regional areas.
Supporting small local businesses and self-employed people has a positive impact on the local economy and creates local jobs. Buying goods or services from local farmers, producers, designers and tradespeople puts money in their pockets and this has a ripple effect. As local businesses prosper and grow they provide more employment, more money circulates in the local economy and, in turn, they can provide you with more products and more choice.
Many items in today’s marketplace often travel half way around the world before they reach us. So buying locally grown and made items not only reduces the carbon footprint but when it comes to food, provides a more seasonal and nutritious option.
While the internet makes it possible to buy goods from anywhere in the world, due to the volume required these are generally one-size-fits all, generic items. Locally grown or locally made products from locally owned businesses provide a more unique and personal option, often with a story behind it. And when it comes to a gift what is more appreciated?
Even without the new, added challenges, many rural communities and businesses are struggling to compete with chain stores, multinationals and internet shopping. By keeping your money local this Mother’s day you can help to make Mudgee and it’s surrounding towns and villages more viable and sustainable.