There is a wealth of reasons to continue to support local business and City of Boroondara is leading the charge in reminding locals of this fact through their ‘Thanks Boroondara’ campaign which aims to thank shoppers for choosing to spend in their local retail precincts. 

Here are five reasons City of Boroondara and every trader across the City, is giving their thanks:

1. Your spend boosts the local economy

It is well-known that what goes around comes around. This is very much the case for local business. By choosing to spend your money locally, you are directly helping to change the lives of so many local business owners who are currently doing it tough. 

By spending locally, you are also ensuring that your money goes into the pockets of locals which is then likely to be re-spent locally – a term that has been referred to as the ‘boomerang dollar’. The boomerang dollar ensures that your community thrives and be-comes a better place to live and work.  

Choosing to spend with local business owners means they can also continue to employ and look after their staff, particularly local young people. These employees also then spend locally, ensuring even more of a cash injection into the local economy.

“Local spending is a circle of life between small businesses. We are here to support each other. We are an anchor store for our shopping strip. We bring customers to the area who then share their shopper dollars among other local businesses around us. This means we are can continue to support our small family-owned suppliers which give us a uniqueness and separates us from the chains.

Alex Harper, Store Manager at IGA Ashburton.

2. You get personalised service and feel valued

Remember when you used to drive into a service station and someone would fill up your car? Nothing beats the personal touch. Small businesses can offer a personalised service not always found through larger chains.

The relationship built between a local business owner and its customers goes a lot further than just the initial purchase. Small business owners pride themselves on getting to know their ‘regulars’ and nothing beats walking into a business and being greeted by your name, or having them remember what your ‘usual’ is. 

“We can offer a much more personalised service to our customers that ‘main-stream’ businesses cannot do. We like to treat our customers like they are our ex-tended family. We take time to get to know them and understand their individual culinary needs. We will go out of our way to get the products our customers want. We like to make them feel valued and will always go that extra mile for them.”

Mick Costanzo, Owner of Chef in a Box. 

3. Choosing to shop local helps support your community 

Your choice to shop local allows businesses to invest in their local communities. They regularly sponsor local sports clubs, donate their goods and services to local schools, kinders, charities and community groups, as well as donate their time to help local causes. Without the support of traders, these types of organisations might also struggle to survive.

“We run several events each year that would not be possible without the support of our local businesses. We find Kew to be a very warm and inclusive community, with generous and friendly shop owners who give our students a feeling of connectivity and belonging”.

Natasha Scott, Funding Coordinator at Giant Steps Melbourne. 

4. Improves the community care factor 

Keeping local business and retail precincts alive means that local areas can support and care for marginalised groups in our community, such as the elderly, lower socio-economic groups and those with mental health issues.

Many local businesses go above and beyond to help support the mental and physical health of these community members. Initiatives include food banks, clothing drives, employment and training opportunities and many other community schemes. This ‘pay it forward’ mentality from local businesses goes a long way to supporting these groups.

“We have been catering to all ages, from two months old to the elderly, for the last 21 years. We look after our clients’ eye health and vision, along with its association to general health by participating in care plans. We are a link to the broader com-munity, particularly for our older clients, and are happy to chat about the grandkids, the veggie garden or even the footy! For those in local aged care facilities who can’t come to the practice, I attend on-site as needed to provide the necessary eye care.”

Paula Monaco from Boroondara Eye Care.

5. Good for the environment and your health

Shopping locally has many health and environmental benefits. By shopping local, you are ultimately reducing your carbon footprint by reducing travel times or doing away with them completely if you choose to walk to your local shopping precinct. 

Further, many local businesses have developed an ethos around locally-sourced products. Not only does this support local producers or manufacturers, and therefore the local economy, but it has a direct knock-on effect to the reduction in transportation and storage. 

Shopping locally also gives people that ‘feel-good’ factor. Knowing that you are supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs, plus helping them support their families, en-courages people to come back for more. 

“Tandoori Den has been operating in Camberwell for 40 years so have seen some changes. We have built a strong relationship with our local customers and have grown over this time. We pride ourselves on actively ensuring that the natural environment is used in a way that will preserve resources into the future, by using bio-degradable bags, paper bags, paper straws and recycled cardboard boxes, for take-away food. Every little bit helps, and our community appreciates it.

Gaurav Khanna, Director Tandoori Den.

The ‘Thanks Boroondara’ campaign aims to engage shoppers with heartfelt thank you messages, outlining how their support has made a real difference to local traders and the community as a whole.

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