Small businesses across the country are being invited to get involved with a new national campaign designed to encourage Australians to purchase from, and support, local businesses.
The federal government is spending $5 million on the Go Local First campaign, which is being organised by the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA).
The campaign will run for six months, and will involve nationwide broadcast and digital advertising about the importance of shopping local to support small and medium businesses that are continuing to grapple with the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking to SmartCompany, COSBOA chief executive Peter Strong said the first stages of the campaign will be about getting the word out through advertising and meeting with key decision makers at all levels of government.
This week COSBOA hosted webinars with representatives from 130 local councils and federal and state parliamentarians.
Many of those local councils are running their own campaigns, says Strong, so they will work with COSBOA to link-up with the Go Local First campaign.
The campaign is bipartisan in nature and not about specific policies of agendas, says Strong.
“We’ve contacted every member of parliament, both federal and state,” he says.
Follow the signs! Small businesses need our support and shopping locally is the best way to do it. #ShopLocal #GoLocalFirst #ShopLocalSupportLocal #shopsmall @PeterStrongSB @COSBOA pic.twitter.com/j8VYZG2mVl
— Kate Carnell (@KateCarnellAus) July 10, 2020
In an interview with news.com.au, Small Business Minister Michaelia Cash said the message from the campaign to Australian consumers is to think before purchasing.
“Go local first, make that conscious decision to see whether or not the purchase you’re about to make could be made locally,” she said.
“Support your local grocer, support your local butcher, accounting firms, gardeners, tradespeople.”
Strong is encouraging small business owners to download the materials available from the Go Local First website and display them on their shop windows.
And to think about ways to support other small businesses in their local community too.
“In the end, this is about community,” he says.
“People don’t exist for the economy, the economy exists for people.”