Business chambers join forces for ‘buy local’ campaign

Launching the Bigger Backyard initiative are: Peninsula Chamber President, Matthew Wales; Wyong Reginal Chamber President, Matthew Lusted; Gosford Erina Business Chamber President, Rod Dever; and Business NSW Central Coast Regional Director, Paula Martin

Businesses on the Central Coast are being urged to support each other as they struggle with the impacts of the coronavirus.

On Tuesday, May 5, the Bigger Backyard campaign was launched as a joint initiative by the region’s business chambers.

Designed to direct investment and spending to local companies, the campaign launch came complete with barbecue, deck chairs and esky to remind businesses to keep their spending in their own backyard.

Gosford Erina Business Chamber President, Rod Dever, said businesses were being encouraged to “take the pledge” and commit to doing business locally wherever they can.

“Commit to spend on a business service available within the Central Coast, or ‘swap out’ an existing purchase outside the region to a local one,” he said.

The initiative has come together as a combined chambers project by Gosford Erina Business Chamber, Wyong Regional Chamber, Peninsula Chamber and The Entrance Chamber and is supported by Central Coast Council and Business NSW Central Coast.

Business NSW Central Coast Regional Director, Paula Martin, said the innovation program, a first for the Central Coast, hoped to reach 500 pledges by the end of May from businesses prepared to purchase locally in an effort to stimulate the economy and prepare for recovery.

“We call out to all businesses to make a pledge via the Bigger Backyard Central Coast mobile app,” Martin said.

“The business sector represents significant purchasing power in their own right.

“Other regional economies have seen a threefold return when businesses spend locally so this would be a welcome boost to business sustainability across the Central Coast if we did the same.”

Initially developed to help reinvigorate the declining town centres of Woy Woy, The Entrance, Gosford, Erina and Wyong, the app was quickly expanded to provide a Covid-19 response and ensure all businesses had another avenue in which to be visible.

Wyong Regional Chamber President, Matthew Lusted, said with face to face business matching events restricted for the foreseeable future, the Bigger Backyard app would provide Wyong and Northern Growth Corridor businesses with direct access to each other, online and 24×7.

The Entrance Chamber President, Bob Diaz, said the app would help local business coping with the additional impact of the summer bushfires.

“By telling other businesses what they are doing differently through Covid-19, the app could potentially open new markets and opportunities,” he said.

Peninsula Chamber President, Matthew Wales, said he had long been advocating a business identity unique to the Coast.

“We hope to highlight innovation across the Peninsula, which could result in business growth within the region and indeed beyond,” he said.

“It’s key to the reinvigoration of our towns and the pandemic recovery.”

The campaign spearheads a longer-term Chamber led economic initiative called “In Good Company” designed to boost the local business economy, showcase business excellence and create a much needed business identity for the Central Coast.

Individual shoppers are also being asked to support the region’s businesses, with Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch, urging residents to jump online to buy local.

“At a time like this it is difficult to think of anything positive we can do but, at the moment, that’s exactly how I’m thinking, Tesch said.

“Let’s all get online and with whatever money we can spare, help our local small businesses flourish.”

Paula Martin also urged stimulus funding recipients to spend money with local businesses.

“Cash payments, employee support, and the increase in the instant asset write off to $150,000 will equip many local businesses and consumers with stimulus cash, which can go a long way towards sustaining jobs and our regional economy,” Martin said.

“Maintaining jobs and sustaining our regional economy by using stimulus money locally is the best thing we can all do to minimise the fallout.”


Media release, Apr 9

Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch

Media release, Apr 13

Business NSW Central Coast Regional Director, Paula Martin

Media releases, May 5

Gosford Erina Business Chamber and Business NSW Central Coast