Buy Local campaign seeks pledges from businesses

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

The Entrance Chamber of Commerce and Wyong Regional Business Chamber have joined forces with two others on the Central Coast to launch a Buy Local campaign to direct investment and spending to local companies and ignite business growth during the COVID-19 crisis.

Called the Bigger Backyard Central Coast “Pledgathon”, the innovative campaign is hoping 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.

President of Wyong Regional Chamber of Commerce, Matt Lusted, said that in the first few weeks of the campaign about 30 percent of Chamber members across the Coast had signed up.

“This is fantastic news, a really good response,” he said.

“Already 236 businesses have taken the pledge to build a stronger Central Coast.

“Those businesses have pledged a total of $535,000 per month.”

Lusted, together with The Entrance President, Bob Diaz, are calling out to all businesses to make a pledge via the Bigger Backyard Central Coast mobile app.

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

“The Bigger Backyard app provides Wyong and Northern Growth Corridor businesses with direct access to each other online, 24×7,” he said.

“This unique platform is much more than just a directory app, it’s a way of reaching out to our neighbours and supporting their business, ensuring a brighter future for all of the Coast,” Lusted said.

Diaz believes the app will help local businesses still 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.

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

Business NSW Regional Director Central Coast, Paula Martin, said other regional economies had seen a threefold return when businesses spent locally.

“Initially this campaign was developed to help invigorate the declining town centres of Woy Woy, The Entrance, Gosford, Erina and Wyong and the app was quickly expanded to provide a COVID-19 response and to ensure that all businesses had another avenue to be visible,” she said.

It is a collaborative design between Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, Gosford Erina Business Chamber, Wyong Regional Business Chamber, The Entrance Chamber of Commerce and supported by Central Coast Council and Business NSW.

Interview & Media statement, May 22 & 25
President, Matt Lusted
Wyong Regional Business Chamber
Media release, May 5
Regional Director Central Coast, Paula Martin
Business NSW