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Buy local to keep local economy ticking over

Woman buying vegetables from a stall

As well as promoting the Buy Regional website, why not consider adopting your own unique ‘buy local’ initiative? It’s a great way to keep business ticking over and money circulating in your local area – especially as the drought continues to bite in many parts of the State.

There are various ‘buy local’ options worth considering:

  • Local Gift card: Can only be spent at a local business. Can be purchased from local vendors or online and given a present, charity aid or as raffle prizes.   
  • Community Currency: The charitable distribution of cash-style vouchers which can only be spent in a certain area or town. The idea is that when the vouchers are spent with local businesses, those businesses are then paid for the goods and services by the donating business or company.  
  • Marketing Campaign: Encourage customers to shop locally through recognisable branding and use of traditional and social media to spread the word. 
  • Seasonal or Annual events: Promote annual or seasonal events to attract potential tourists. It could be Christmas or annual festivals.
  • Local Procurement: Councils and large local businesses support their region by considering local businesses for the acquisition of goods and services.

Some NSW Councils are already doing a fantastic job of local gift cards and community currency.

In Coonamble, the local shire council has set up Drought Buster Dollars which channels charitable donations into support for drought affected residents and local businesses.

Individuals can apply for or be nominated to receive $330 that can be spent at any business with an ABN in the Coonamble Shire region.

There’s a similar initiative underway in Narrabri, where local resident Ashley Watt set up Why Leave Town – a gift card idea which has spread to more than 20 other regions in NSW. Businesses can donate a gift card to be spent locally by those struggling due to the drought. Or they can purchase a gift card for a local family in need which is distributed by a local organisation such as Rotary or the Lions Club.   

Read more about buy local initiatives.