COVID-19 and local business

Supporting local business during COVID-19
Have you been going to your local bakery for freshly baked bread or savoury rolls? Are you used to heading down to your regular hairdressing salon for a haircut or your favourite coffee shop for that special cup of coffee? In these times with COVID-19, it’s never been more critical to support not only your local businesses but Australian companies. Whether it’s down the road or in your local neighbourhood shopping centre, the fast-growing click and collect, contactless home delivery and even call and collect, supporting local businesses can help them stay afloat during this crisis.

Countless local businesses and manufacturers have had to close their doors due to COVID-19; some may not be able to reopen their doors once COVID-19 is manageable.  Just how we support our local businesses is an essential factor in today’s climate.
 

You can still shop with social distancing
Even with social distancing measures, you can still visit your chemist, bakery or bookstore if they have remained open and support them during this tough time. Many business owners have had to make the painful decision to close or to reduce the number of employees and hours of work, meaning less productivity and putting employees out of work for the time being or indefinitely. If we support local businesses by still shopping there, we can help support them, keeping staff on and the company ticking over. Otherwise, our small, local favourite businesses will cease to exist.
 

The optimum ways to shop and still support local business
With many businesses turning to online shops and your local pizza or pasta venue doing deliveries only, it’s time to get onboard with the virtual world so you can still shop from your local businesses. Whether it is retail for items such as household, storage, odds and ends and ornaments, groceries, takeaway food or your local bakery or coffee shop, it’s now time to ensure that you support the business “around the corner” or “down the road”. It’s time to support all local business, which includes Australian manufacturing and production, and household items such as cleaning products and medical supplies.

Another way to support local business is to purchase gift cards for people for their birthdays or for Mother’s Day, which is coming up. You can stimulate the economy for local businesses by buying gift cards which creates an injection of income, to use at a later date or online depending on the business.

Ordering takeaway food is helping your local pizza, pasta or coffee shop and with many businesses offering pre-prepared meals, you are right on target when you order from local businesses. It’s easy and convenient for you and helps support them.

Increasing the tip amount that you might like to give people who are still working during this difficult time is another way to help local businesses through an injection of additional money which aids assists in a time when finances are complicated. Many businesses are applying for and waiting on Federal and State Government stimulus packages and will benefit from our support in the interim.
 

“No contact delivery”
While practising Social Distancing, ordering Takeaway food is increasingly common at this time, local restaurants have implemented “no contact delivery”. Additionally, other businesses that typically would be open to the public, such as garden shops are doing contactless delivery instead of shopping in-store.

Australians are familiar with online shopping, now more than ever, it’s the most convenient and increasingly popular way to shop; while still supporting local business.
 

Stimulus doesn’t just mean government
A stimulus package by the Government is a conducive way of helping businesses through this challenging time but also shopping at local stores, though online now, can provide additional stimulus for businesses. Buying Australian-manufactured and produced products is increasingly important in these times, more than ever local businesses need our support.
 

Why should you support local?
Supporting local is not just about the stimulus of the local businesses’ financials, but it is about being part of a community and helping those who support the local community. Local businesses are essential for the Australian economy, driving growth, entrepreneurship and employment opportunities. Local businesses care. They usually support the local community through financial subsidies or sponsorship, and they often know the local people who shop at their store by name.

Local businesses tend to go above and beyond to assist their customers by delivering exceptional customer service; they also often commit to Australian manufacturing.  During this challenging time, it has never been more critical to support local businesses than now.
 

Let’s join together to bring back our Sovereign capability
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a lot from us but in many ways has brought us together as communities and a nation.

However, let’s not forget what impact we’ve had on local businesses. Australians have been choosing cheaper outsourcing options overseas for quite some time which has had an impact on our economy. 
 
At present, we are so dependent on imports from China and Taiwan despite tariffs. Australia, as a nation, tends to rely heavily on imports despite tariffs and now more than ever is the time to support local businesses rather than outsource overseas.
 
With panic purchasing, many have experienced a shortage of essential medical supplies and antibacterial products including hand sanitiser, medical masks, handwash and soap, gloves, cleaning products and other assorted items associated with tackling a pandemic such as this.

Necessary medical supplies are harder than ever to purchase, and exports of essential medical supplies are in high demand.

FACT: Did you know, that one of the only places to purchase facemasks in Australia is from Med-Con from a base factory in Shepparton, Victoria?

With the need for medical supplies highly important in this crisis, local businesses are being urged to re-tool. If an investment can go into creating vital medical supplies to provide within Australia, the heavy reliance on imports can be reduced.

Finding a viable solution is essential and salient even in this time, the urgency is evident. Re-tooling is one way to assist local manufacturing in staying on top of its game and producing items in demand. It’s not just about supporting our local manufacturing, but your local bakery, cafe or IGA; this pandemic has stripped a lot away from the hospitality industry and associated manufacturing and production and looking ahead to the future, local businesses need our support.

This pandemic has shown us that as a nation, we need to look at ways to not only support local business but to once again build local manufacturing to help it thrive and bring back our Sovereign capability. Let’s start re-thinking about the importance of ‘Australian made’ and changing the conscious choices we have made that have impacted our economy by rebuilding our manufacturing capability.

Let’s support Australia; you will play a huge part to help reshape our present and future.