small business | March 20, 2020

Shop locally and support each other

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy, is calling on local residents to shop locally and support local business wherever possible, particularly given the impact the COVID-19 outbreak is having on shopping patterns.

Statistics show for every 100 businesses in Victoria, 98 are small businesses.

Ms Kealy said many small businesses were at serious risk of going out of business due to the outbreak and would not survive weeks of little or zero cashflow.

“It is vital now, more than ever, that we shop locally at every opportunity – butchers, greengrocers, delis, local coffee shops and local retailers - to take some of the strain off our small business owners who have invested in our community,” she said.

“Remember small businesses create local jobs and are regularly called on to sponsor local sports clubs and community groups.

“If you find something online, make sure you contact a local shop to see if they can supply it. Many are now doing pick-up and delivery of any goods or would be happy to do so if asked.

“Please make that effort. We have to support these businesses now before it’s too late.”

Ms Kealy also expressed her concern at the impact unnecessary panic buying was having on the region’s supply chain works, supermarket staff and vulnerable people in the community.

“I am asking people to remain calm and not to hoard or stockpile goods and food. Anyone who is stockpiling months of food or toilet paper is potentially doing so at the expense of a vulnerable person or senior citizen who might not be able to get access to the things they need,” she said.

“Please also remember to treat our local retail staff - many of whom are working overtime to make sure our local residents have access to what they need - with the respect they deserve.

“A huge thank you, on behalf of all Lowan residents, to all those people who are putting in extra hours to make sure our local residents have what they need to get through these uncertain times.

“We’ve also seen the disgraceful act of busloads of people from the city clearing our local supermarket shelves, leaving vulnerable locals without food and necessities. This is simply unacceptable and selfish behaviour and there is a clear message that we won’t stand for it.”  

Ms Kealy also called on the community to stay well-informed and remain calm and measured as the situation and advice continue to change.

“I will continue working with all levels of government to get our local community the support we need during this challenging time,” she said.

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