As a passionate advocate for supporting local business, the Coffs Harbour Chamber of Commerce puts its time and money where its mouth is, supporting local business at every opportunity. The Go Local First campaign is a testament to the Chamber’s focus on ‘local’.
The Coffs Harbour Chamber of Commerce also facilitates a range of business building and networking events each year. These events provide opportunities for local businesses to build their business networks and develop a local supplier network.
You may think that by shopping online and supporting large retailers is saving you a dollar or two and in the short-term, you may be right. But it’s the long term gain to our community that sees the benefit of a local focus. Supporting local business not only supports local jobs, but the flow-on effects can be paramount to the overall health and well being of the place and its people.
Coffs Harbour Chamber of Commerce President Ray Smith says small business is critical to the fabric of our growing economy.
“Supporting local businesses creates jobs and opportunity for the next generation. It’s often the small local suppliers who weave the fabric of our community. It’s the businesses that sponsor local sporting clubs where your kids play, those who lend a hand when times get tough and those who get behind the community projects that are building a better tomorrow for Coffs Harbour. These are the businesses we should be backing in” says Mr Smith.
While there are many obvious benefits to going local first, the Coffs Harbour Chamber of Commerce has a slightly broader view. As a self proclaimed champion for supporting local business, we thought we would give you a few of our favourite reasons to go local!
Here’s 3 of our favourite reasons why it’s important to GO LOCAL!
Going local keeps money in the economy
When dollars are spent locally, they can in turn be re-spent locally, raising the overall level of economic activity, paying more salaries, and building the strength and resilience of the local economy. This recirculation of money leads to an increase of economic activity.
This added economic benefit to the local economy is key to building a sustainable city. With more money circulating in the local economy, it boosts the potential for more public infrastructure, which benefits everyone.
Going local reduces your environmental impact
Reducing the amount of materials and products that are bought from national retail chains helps reduce your ecological footprint. Locally owned businesses can make more local purchases requiring less transportation and generally operate from within city centers as opposed to developing on the outskirts of a city.
Local commercial districts mean fewer vehicle miles traveled and leads to less sprawl. Less transportation also means less traffic congestion, which has the potential to reduce the amount of fuel emission that contributes to air pollution.
Going local helps to establish the identity of our city
Spending money with local retailers helps keep the local community alive. The places where we eat, shop, and have fun all have the potential to make a community feel like home. “One-of-a-kind” businesses are a fundamental part of the distinctive character of a community. A community where large chains of shops exceed the number of independently run small businesses becomes less personal and homogenized, with less product diversity.
The benefits of a thriving local independent business sector are not limited to economic benefits. Possibly equally important is that independent businesses define the community’s self-image and creates a sense pride for the people who live there.
Coffs Harbour Chamber of Commerce supports local businesses
From the local food producer or restaurateur to gift shop, allied health professionals and corner store, small businesses together make something far more valuable than anything they do or sell. They help to build our local Coffs Coast community.
Small businesses contribute to a third of our economic activity, keeping millions of Australians in jobs and are responsible for paying wages to more than half of our workforce. They are vital to our everyday lives – especially during periods of economic hardship and recovery.
At a local level, there are approximately 6,000+ businesses across Coffs Harbour City, employing approximately 30,000 local workers!
2020 and 2021 have been tough for many Coffs Coast small businesses, and they need our support. This could be as simple as eating at or getting takeaway from a local restaurant or café, buying your loved one’s next gift from a local shop, or liking and leaving positive reviews on their social media pages.
Vice president of the Coffs Harbour Chamber of Commerce, Cath Fowler says the Chamber is making a real difference to the strength and resilience of local businesses. “We’re amplifying the go local message by profiling local businesses and introducing the faces of our businesses to the community. The go local campaign makes business a little more personal and that’s important in the globalised word we often live in”
The chamber campaign which launched in 2020, celebrates the stories of its business owners. “The Go Local First campaign has been rolled out across social media, print, digital, television and radio. It’s a measurable campaign that keeps on giving back to the business community. It’s bright, bubbly fun!” adds Cath.
The go local campaign supports the Chambers newly created business directory and also provides assets for businesses including tiles for Facebook and Instagram, example posts, hashtags and imagery, all accessible for businesses to download.
Doing business on The Coffs Coast? Don’t forget to sign up to the Coffs Harbour Chamber of Commerce business directory and make sure your Chamber membership is up to date. Not a member? Signing up is easy and all online!
Small business, the backbone of a regional economy
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, as at June 30, 2022 there were 2,569,900 actively trading businesses in the Australian economy.
The majority (2.35 million or 98 per cent) are small or medium sized enterprises. Nearly two-thirds of businesses are sole traders and more than a third employ 1-19 staff.
Regional Australia is awash with small business and on the Coffs Coast, small business contributes a huge percentage to the local job market. With approximately 6000 small businesses operating in the region, the Coffs Coast is proving a healthy and viable location to operate a small business.
In a post pandemic Australia, small business continues to contribute significantly to our economy’s bottom line. In fact, the small business commissioner reports that each year the small business sector adds up to $425Bn in sales and service income to the NSW state economy.
Said to be the backbone of our economy, small business has never been more important to regional NSW and on the Coffs Coast, business is booming!
Agriculture, Retail trade, Construction and Accommodation and food services are all strong small business industries for the Coffs Harbour LGA. These sectors contribute significantly to the total estimated $3.66Bn Gross Regional Product of the Coffs Coast.
Kellon Beard, Regional Manager at Business NSW says the North Coast is full of great businesses “Small business employs so many people across the North Coast. Key industries on the Coffs Coast include tourism, aged care and health. Some of the unrecognised business opportunity may be around manufacturing and innovation. Great facilities at the airport with new technology business potential for the Enterprise park. he says, adding “Innovation plays well to the environment and the start-up space.”
The potential re-imagined CBD area, post the Coffs Harbour Bypass project is one that many local groups are excited about. “Coffs Harbour s lucky to have an energized and well connected community who need to get behind new business and take advantage of the opportunities in the CBD over the next few years” says Mr Beard.
The North Coast boasts a growing population due to a surge in work from home opportunities as people look for a greater standard of living and a sea change post-pandemic.
6 ways you can ‘Go Local First’ in Coffs Harbour
How to Go Local this Christmas
Christmas can be a very special time of year where loved ones gather to celebrate and relax. With Australians tipped to spend over $64bn on food, presents and festivities this silly season, it’s more important than ever to support local. From the office Christmas party, to boxing day, New Years and school fun, there are numerous ways to go local this Christmas – Let’s take a look.
Eat local – it’s good for you!
From seafood, fruit, vegetables, honey and baked goods, it’s all here on the Coffs Coast. Why not consider a trip to the Coffs Coast growers market to source your Christmas feast? Or, spend a little at New Life Farm where you can pick your own
Why not consider a local food box from Bello Food Box. Think organic, seasonal produce direct to your door. Bello food box offers free delivery for all orders over $150.
Don’t forget to make your Christmas pilgrimage to Coffs Harbour Fisherman’s Co Op to land yourself some seafood – straight off the boat!
Consider a local venue
Organising your office Christmas party and sick of the same old, same old? Consider something different this year. Why not try some barefoot bowls at Park Beach Bowls Club . For something a little different and a little smaller, think sensory. Book your team a table at Hungry Bears asian fusion , then onward to Slovino, a pop up wine bar just around the corner and all centrally located in the CBD.
For the ultimate views in Coffs Harbour, take the family to the Jetty Beach House. With great food, cold drinks and a raft of Summer music events on the calendar, it’s the perfect place for a Christmas celebration.
Go for experiences, rather than ‘things’
Locals and visitors alike can share in the abundance of natural experiences available on the Coffs Coast. From the mountains to the sea, from the South to the North, there’s incredible experiences everywhere. Why not gift an experience this year…
Swing through the trees at TreeTops Adventure Park located near Sealy lookout in the Orara East State Forest. With over 110 challenges and 20 zip lines, it’s an incredible day out. Make sure to book ahead.
Catch a fish with Coffs Harbour Fishing Charters. The perfect gift for the avid angler The Coffs Coast has tremendous all-year-round fishing and Coffs Harbour Fishing Charters supplies all the fishing gear to fish the reefs and islands around Coffs Harbour.
Take a three wheeled trip with Coffs Harbour Trike Tours . Wind your way through the countryside on your way to Bellingen, or enjoy a winery or brewery tour in style. The perfect gift for mum and dad.