Business push to buy-local

Talitha WolfeAlbany Advertiser

Buy-local policies have dominated the business sphere for several years, but two local business owners have turned to social media in a bid to promote the message further.

Phil Shilcock and Nicola Edwards created a Buy Albany, Buy Local online platform via Facebook last Monday.

The page was designed to promote local business as well as the importance of buying locally.

Although this is not a new concept, Mr Shilcock said the message was more important than ever, especially in terms of ensuring a booming local economy.

“Everyone knows the economy is a little slow at the moment — the message is more important now than it has ever been,” he said.

“The potential, because of Albany’s isolation, we can create our own vibrant economy within the West Australian and Australian economy if more people decide to spend their money locally.”

For the past two years Mr Shilcock and Ms Edwards have promoted the buy-local message in conjunction with the Albany Chamber of Commerce and Industry but Ms Edwards said they had taken to social media to extend that message’s reach.

“This was a good platform to reach a really big range of people because it’s not just the business owners that benefit it’s the entire community,” she said. “If we want a vibrant community for kids and grandkids to grow up in then we have to do something about it now.

“This is our town, this is our community. We want to make it the best we can and if that’s keeping dollars in the town, then that’s how we can do it.”

ACCI chief executive Russ Clark said the chamber was a strong supporter of a buy-local policy and backing local businesses was vital for the economy and community.

“At the end of the day when you spend money locally with local business, it’s those local businesses that are supporting the local community groups,” he said.

“Whether it’s a sporting organisation, community foundation or research group, local businesses are the ones that support them, not multinationals.

“Small businesses makes up the bulk of employment in the region, so supporting small businesses supports jobs locally.

“If we don’t invest in local businesses they won’t be here.”

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