Shop local to fight virus fallout

Michael Osborne. (Joe Mastroianni) 206693_02

By Jessica Micallef

Sunbury and Macedon Ranges residents are being urged to buy from their local businesses to help save jobs and minimise the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has on traders.

Sunbury Business Association president Michael Osborne said local shopping was now more important than ever because small businesses could take a “big hit“ financially as a result of the virus.

“I would suggest, where possible, using local businesses to ensure that they survive,” he said.

“Even if it’s online, use their online facilities, purchase gift cards for future use down the track.

“Lots of businesses survive week to week and they are not going to be able to keep their doors open unless we can support them in any way we can.“

Mr Osborne said shopping at local businesses did extend to supermarket giants such as Coles and Woolworths.

“They hire local employees,” he said.

“Having said that, don’t forget about the local corner store. You’d be surprised that they’ll have the things you need that the big supermarkets don’t.”

Mr Osborne believed the virus would have a “bigger impact“ on small businesses and advised against residents buying goods from overseas companies.

“There will be a severe cash flow impact as a result of this pandemic,“ he said.

“It’s not just the community, but it’s the landlords, it’s the council in relation to rates, it’s electricity and water companies. They need to also support the locals and come up with some sort of package.

“They [businesses] are not going to be able to afford their rates, electricity or water. We are calling on all corners of our community to assist the small businesses.”