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22 March, 2020

#shoptablelands We all need to start buying local

#shoptablelands We all need to start buying local

By Phil Brandel

Coles has announced that they will hire an extra 5000 casual staff to keep up with the current demand of panic buying in the wake of the Covid-19 scare.

This is great news for Coles and Woolworths, but not so good for local shops, small businesses and farmers, who may be forced to shut down.

The Federal Government has also announced the closure of pubs, clubs, restaurants, cafes, gyms and more.  Local businesses on the Tablelands are now hurting more than ever.

To ease the hurt we all need to start buying local, go to your local bakery, greengrocer or butcher. Spend less on the internet or interstate and more on locals. Spending local means more money stays within our community.

So the Express in conjunction with local chambers of commerce are launching #shoptablelands

When you spend $100 at a local business, on average 58% more of your money stays within your community compared to what would have happened if you spent that $100 at a multinational company based store.

That person’s job you saved may spend money at your business tomorrow saving your job. If we all spend our money on toilet paper at a multinational and don’t start spending local, it’s just a race to the bottom to see who goes broke first.

When you shop local, you’re making a personal investment in your community.

Money is kept in the community because locally-owned businesses often purchase from other local companies, service providers, and farms. Buying local helps grow other businesses.

Check out some of our local markets for fresh produce and pay with cash. This helps with cash flow rather than waiting for banks to clear the money, minus their fees.

You know that local business that supports your local sporting team or charity? Well, now they need your help.

In a statement from the Tablelands Chamber of commerce

“We find ourselves in one of the toughest and most uncertain situations for generations. The full impact on both individuals and the global economy is yet to be seen. Local business needs our support now, more than ever. Choose where you spend your money wisely.

“Will your purchase circulate through our local economy, or head straight out of the area? Multi-national companies are in a better position to ride out the storm, but will they be here on the Tablelands helping us pick up the pieces if our local businesses have had to close their doors? Will they support our kids sporting teams, community events, not-for-profits? Will they be buying from our local growers and producers? All of these things are at the core of what makes our community great.”

“In challenging times we see true character show through and there is nothing more resilient than a community that bands together and supports each other. We have recently witnessed the generosity and strength of spirit amongst the Australian community to face down the impact of the bushfires. This global crisis makes it more important to band together, look out for one another and help each other look forward with hope.

“The Atherton Tablelands Chamber of Commerce like our fellow chambers in Malanda, Ravenshoe and Mareeba are committed to doing our part to help Tablelands businesses. An active chamber of commerce provides a strong united voice for small business. These are volunteers that are giving their time to advocate for your business and your changing needs. They can also help connect you with programs and services that become available.  I encourage all business owners to connect with their local chamber.”

Ways to help your local community right now

Restaurants: Though many are closed to in-house dining, some are still offering takeout options and gift certificates. If you’re a regular at a local spot, continue your normal routine by ordering takeout and tipping as if you were sitting in the restaurant.

Or, purchase a gift certificate now for later use. It allows them to keep revenue coming in when they need it the most.

Fitness professionals: Most gyms are now closed for obvious reasons. If you’ve ever considered hiring a trainer, reach out to a professional and inquire about virtual training through video chats or an eating program. Plus, now is not the time to neglect one’s health.

Local small business: Some small businesses are struggling, contact store owners directly about purchasing some of their inventory. They are likely seeing a drastic decrease in foot traffic and patronage but could potentially deliver or reserve something for you.

Online businesses: Independent contractors and artists are feeling the pinch like everyone else.

Regular everyday local people are selling their services and their unique creations and skills on line. If you need something done, but don’t want to leave the house try a local business on Fiverr, Freelancer or Hipages.

Friends and family: Go through the contacts in your phone. Jog your memory about who has struggled in the past or who is self-employed. If they are in an industry being affected by these closings, send them a text and see how you can help them.

Spend cash: By avoiding Eftpos local businesses get paid sooner, helping with cash flow and avoiding bank fees.

Markets: Check out some of our local markets (if they are still going ahead) for fresh local produce, art and food, or maybe buy from the road side stands that farmers have out front of their house.

Where you spend your money today, and during this crisis, will determine our community’s future tomorrow. #shoptablelands




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