Go Local First defines some of the ways in which we as a community can make a real difference to local businesses. These are easy steps to take and with small businesses paying wages to more than half of our workforce, it’s easy to see why we’ll all benefit from helping our local operators.
Some of the things we can all do to make a difference include choosing to buy goods and services from local operators, having a “staycation” in our own region or simply recommending a great local business to friends and family. Even writing a positive review for a local business or engaging with their social media pages can stimulate trade while at the same time, letting our valued business operators know that we’re with them in these difficult times.
Our Instagram page is just one illustration of how that support is being provided. To help us to grow that support, we’re asking local businesses to email us a picture and a small blurb to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can help to spread the word.
As always, we’ll be working closely with our Two Cities One Community partner, Wodonga Council, to support this important campaign, thus ensuring the benefits flow equally across the border and on to businesses in our wider Regional Economic Zone.
The campaign has been given a boost by the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in regional Victoria, coupled with the much-welcomed relaxation of border crossing regulations.
While it’s great to see more people out and about shopping or simply enjoying our beautiful attractions, it’s important to remember that while the threat of COVID-19 has eased, it has not gone away so please do continue to follow government guidelines on social distancing, hygiene and other precautions. You can find more information about what you can and can’t do here.
We’re already seeing businesses south of the border swinging back into action while the return to daily life reasons for crossing the border is allowing people to shop in both cities, visit friends and families, or access services. All of these options, once taken for granted, are essential to our economic and social success which is why it’s so pleasing to see regional residents rewarded for their good sense in managing the COVID risk.
To support the campaign, the Chamber has developed a web page showcasing local businesses, while special Albury CBD gift cards will be launched this Saturday to not only make supporting your local businesses easier, but also provide an opportunity to do something nice for friends and loved ones in the name of a good cause.
A series of social media posts will encompass case studies from local businesses and you should soon see “Go Local First” signs around town over coming weeks.
And there can be no doubt that going local first is excellent news for our economy.
Economic modelling produced for Council shows that in the retail sector alone, expenditure of $100 with a small business in Albury Wodonga generates $27.08 in wages and salaries for local people with $69.41 of that $100 spend remaining in our community.
By comparison, the same $100 spent at online stores outside of Albury Wodonga generates zero wages for locals and just $3.87 remains in our community, making it very clear that going local where there is a suitable product or service is good for all of us.
By buying local goods and services, you’re not only contributing to our local economic recovery you’re also helping local families.
Albury Wodonga’s business owners are people we know. They might be acquaintances, neighbours, friends or family. Their challenges and opportunities might differ but we all share something in common – we call Albury Wodonga home and we all want our community to prosper, especially in trying times.
So the next time you’re shopping for goods and services large or small, please do go local first. Chances are you’ll get just what you need and in doing so you’ll be helping yourself and your community.