Are you gifting locally?
Right now – your dollar and how you spend it is more important than ever before. While Government led initiatives such as Dine and Discover and even Active or Creative Kids Vouchers have been important for our region, we still have a long, long way to go in recovery of 24 months of disaster. Particularly when considering our small business community. (Side note did you know that MOST businesses in the Mid North Coast of NSW actually fall into the category of a small to medium enterprise?)
While you may think your humble dollar doesn’t really count I encourage you to reconsider the little things – as they all count…
What can you do to assist our local business community in these challenging times and moving forward? Some tips follow:
As a consumer:
- Look locally first – if your local suppliers can’t match what you find elsewhere first ask yourself if the wait for your goods or services – the quality may negate a cheaper deal. Second – ask your local guys if they can match, or at least come close to a price from elsewhere.
- Know your local business community – can’t find what you are looking for locally? Ask your network before you give up.
- Think about ongoing service – Can your supplier from elsewhere meet the service capacity of your local supplier? Not likely.
- Commit to a ratio – If buying everything locally is unrealistic for you, commit to a certain % of local procurement.
- The feel good – Don’t forget to note the feel good factor. When you buy locally you are most likely supporting a local family, or a young entrepreneur who in turn will give and give again to your community – therefore you and yours. That’s worth the investment.
- Freight and other complexities – not only can freight be an expensive hidden cost, transporting an item can also incur unexpected complexities and red tape. There’s nothing quite like popping down to a local shop, seeing your thing in real life, making the purchase and popping it in the car.
As a business customer:
- Know where you can add LOCAL in your procurement channels – and challenge this regularly.
- Consider your gifting – where do you purchase your corporate gifts from? Got a conference coming up? What can be sourced locally?
- Weight local procurement in tenders – give your local businesses a head start in tenders and allocate additional points / a modified scoring ratio to lean into local procurement.
- Promote local connections to other locally based businesses. There’s nothing like word of mouth in regional communities to fire up a business.
- Take time to network – seriously. You never know what businesses lurk in your local networks. Get out and about, find out who is doing what.
- A hand up – even the most successful businesses can get off to a shaky start, sometimes the only barrier between success and failure is a decent mentor. Is this you? Maybe it’s time.
this week I asked my online community where I could go to source corporate gifts under $100. I’d love to share this with you as the list has inspired and excited me – SO many wonderful businesses to support and we have ensured they are all added to a list for our organisational gifting (and also my personal gifting). I asked my community the following question:
“Do you or does someone you know own or work in a business that produces something that could be used as a corporate gift (to the value of $100 and under). Ideally the gift will be locally (Mid North Coast) made or grown and also support a small locally based business or social enterprise…”
And… for your procurement channels, the answers as related to the MID NORTH COAST of NSW thus far are… (NB – the businesses listed as follows responded to an online callout. This is by no means a comprehensive list of businesses of this category, however is a sound reminder of the incredible breadth of local produce).
Macnuts (Nambucca Valley): Macadamia nuts and various related products produced by a Nambucca Valley based agricultural cooperative
Rainbow Valley (Valla): Jams, Chutneys and fresh produce by a Nambucca Valley based family
Artisans on the Hill (Tinoenee) workshops, accommodation and gallery, based in Tinoenee
Shop Sista (Port Macquarie) catering, condiments. An enterprise of Hastings Secondary College
Pollinate Studio: (Bowraville) A small business doing great things using 100% pure Australian beeswax
Dream Chaser Designs: (Nambucca Valley) specialises in creating personalised hand decorated reusable mugs
Baagi Milaygiin (Grandmothers Spirit): (Mid North Coast) producing a range of natural and culturally inspired beauty and wellness products
Costa Honey: (Nambucca Valley) producing pure honey and honey products including lip balm
HooRai Balloons: (Nambucca Valley) Bespoke balloon creations for any occasion
Wood we create: (Boambee) Timber artisan David Barden
Bella Blue Skin: (North Coast) Beautiful organic lip balm using locally sourced products
Ceri’s bromeliad Displays: (Valla) small business combining beautiful bromeliads with drift wood (note the founder, Ceri Wroble is also a keen broadcaster on community radio and formerly a Life Education facilitator
Honeybee Hives: (Coutts Crossing) A range of honey, and honey related products including lip balm, Beeswax wraps, bee socks and more
Paper Posies: (Coffs Harbour) hand crafted paper flowers
Valla Macadamias: (Valla) A range of maccas and related products
Critters Distillery: (Woolgoolga) vodka made from Australian wheat and locally sourced cane sugar
Emerald Island Distillery: (Emerald Beach) Handcrafted using seasonally sourced botanicals in Emerald Beach NSW Australia
National Cartoon Gallery: (Coffs Harbour) Workshops, events and gift shop
Hafla Gourmet Dips (Bellingen): Organic Mediterranean style dips using locally sourced ingredients
HOME | Two Tails Wines: (Nana Glen) Local vineyard and restaurant
Mountain Goat Soap: (Mid North Coast) goat’s milk soap
Dunghutti Stitching Fabric: (Kempsey) a range of wearable textiles and furnishings produced by Dunghutti artisans
And a shout out for our Norfolk Island region:
Aura Lanterns: (Norfolk Island): A range of scented candles and beautiful handmade wax lanterns