"Support Local" creating emotional link to Cessnock businesses in tough times

SHOWING SUPPORT: Cessnock City Council economic development officer Brad Sangster; Flanagans Menswear owner Rob Flanagan and Cessnock Chamber of Commerce president Clint Ekert discuss the Support Local campaign.
SHOWING SUPPORT: Cessnock City Council economic development officer Brad Sangster; Flanagans Menswear owner Rob Flanagan and Cessnock Chamber of Commerce president Clint Ekert discuss the Support Local campaign.

Cessnock Chamber of Commerce and Cessnock City Council have launched an initiative to promote local businesses doing it hard in tough times.

Called "Support Local", people are being encouraged to take a selfie shopping at their favourite local business in the Cessnock LGA and post it to their Facebook or Instagram pages.

Each month through until September, five winners will be selected to receive a $100 gift card

"The aim of the Support Local campaign is to create an emotional link between consumption and the business people and their staff who rely on that spending," chamber president Clint Ekert said.

"Cessnock LGA businesses have been hit particularly hard by coronavirus-related restrictions, with the area's large employing industries like hospitality, accommodation, food services and retail facing a significant reduction in visitation while continuing to incur operational costs.

"By taking part in the Support Local campaign, you're doing your bit to help support local businesses through hard times."

The initiative is in response to this summer's bushfire crisis where Cessnock Council and the NSW Government developed a plan that provides immediate assistance through infrastructure projects and short to medium term projects focusing on recovery and resilience.

An Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) survey on Business Impacts of COVID-19 was undertaken between March 30 and April 3 this year, with a sample size of 3000 businesses.

The survey showed that:

  • two thirds (66%) of Australian businesses reported their turnover or cash flow had reduced
  • half (47%) of businesses made changes to their workforce arrangements
  • two in five businesses (38%) have changed how they deliver their products or services, including shifting to online services.
  • Adverse impacts were most prevalent in Accommodation Food Services with over three quarters of businesses (78%) already reporting impacts and 96% of businesses reporting that they expected impacts in coming months.

"People do like to support local businesses because they know local businesses create local employment and are the lifeblood of the community," Clint said.

"Local buying supports local jobs and makes our community stronger by helping to keep money circulating in the region."

To enter simply post a photo of you shopping in your favourite local business to Instagram or Facebook (set to public), with hashtag #supportlocalcessnock. Identify or introduce the business (tag or name them), and enter as many times as you like.