Fiona Phillips: supporting local businesses

I grew up on the South Coast and I know it is the most beautiful place on Earth. It isn’t just our natural environment – what makes us beautiful is our people. The most amazing community there is.

This year has certainly tested our resolve. Drought, bushfires, COVID-19 and floods once again wreaking havoc in our homes, businesses and community infrastructure. But we are so resilient and I know we will get back up again.

Ever since the bushfires hit, people from near and far have wanted to find a way of helping those who have been hardest hit. I have spent so much time speaking with members of our community about what they need. Most just want things to get back to normal.

Our workers have had it tough, but they have done an amazing job in very difficult circumstances. So many business owners have told me how grateful they are for their staff – and so am I. Thank you to all our amazing workers for everything you have done to ensure we could get food, toilet paper and medicines when we needed them. Where would be without you!

The last few weeks have shown that we aren’t out of the woods yet and we need to make sure our communities continue to thrive and survive. I know that more than anything, our small businesses just want their customers back.

So what can you do to help get our community get back on its feet?

Shop in your local butcher, bakery, newsagency. Book your next trip with your local travel agent. Buy your next outfit from your local store instead of shipping it from somewhere else. Be kind to the person behind the counter – they are doing it tough too and working hard to get through it like everyone else.

Because supporting local businesses means supporting local jobs.

Go Local First and when this is all over, we can make sure that our local stores are still there to give us that friendly smile we have come to rely on.

Together, we can get through this.