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Buy Regional this Christmas

The NSW Government has launched a campaign to encourage Sydneysiders to help drought affected communities by purchasing their Christmas presents and food from businesses in drought impacted areas of NSW. Through the Buy Regional Hub customers can browse nine categories of business listings with links to their websites and discover some of the wonderful goods and services that regions like ours have to offer.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said the hub showcases regional shops and sellers together in one place, to make it easy for shoppers to find the perfect Christmas gift and support regional NSW. “Everywhere I go people tell me about the images they’ve seen and the stories they’ve heard of how drought is affecting people in the bush and that they want to do something to help, but they’re not sure how.”

“Every dollar you spend with a regional retailer or producer helps keep that small business afloat, supports jobs in that town and gets money flowing through the local economy, which is exactly what is needed while we wait for the drought to break.” Mr Barilaro said.

Regional businesses can participate in the Buy Regional hub and social media network for free by emailing the Buy Regional team.

Business can also utilise other initiatives that have been established to reach new customers from outside their communities, including the Buy From the Bush, One Day Closer to Rain and Thankful 4 Farmers.

Buy From The Bush founder Grace Brennan said she turned to social media to help businesses find new customers outside of their drought stricken communities and was amazed when the number of followers skyrocketed from zero to 26,000 in eight days.

“This all started as a hashtag on social media but it’s become so powerful because it’s a simple way for people in the city who want to spend their money in the bush to see beautiful things they like and buy them,” Ms Brennan said.

“Not everyone has an online presence but businesses are thinking outside the box. Just the other day I walked in on a business where the shopkeeper was showing dresses to a customer on a video call and she was picking out what she wanted. It just shows that there are so many people out there who want to help and it’s incredible that in such a short space of time that so many regional businesses are making connections with shoppers in the city and some have even sold out of stock.”

Facebook group One Day Closer To Rain is connecting people on the land who are struggling with drought, providing a life line for those who need to share their stories. The group has launched a marketplace to help regional people create income streams by selling their locally produced arts and design work to city people keen to help.

As well as buying gifts from regional retailers, Mr Barilaro encouraged Sydneysiders planning festive get togethers and Christmas Day feasts to consider buying meat, produce and hampers from regional NSW. “Favour the flavour of regional NSW and ask your Sydney butcher or greengrocer for meat, poultry and produce provided by NSW farmers or check out the Buy Regional hub for honey, preserves, veg, meat or even fully-stocked hampers, all sourced from our regions,” Mr Barilaro said.

Thankful 4 Farmers ambassador Matt Moran said in lieu of drought breaking rain, farmers across regional NSW need the support of the grocery buying public. “As a fourth generation farmer I know firsthand the blood, sweat and tears that goes into producing our food during times of drought and every product purchased will show our farming and rural communities how much they are valued,” Mr Moran said.

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