It’s the sign of a great community when people step up to assist those in need. After COVID restrictions hit our Beaches businesses hard, the new Buy On The Beaches initiative was one that quickly evolved to encourage everyone to shop local first.
Casey Merwood, owner of Beaches Coworking, was one of the many locals who spent the most recent lockdown feeling helpless. She knew that so many of our businesses had to stay shut during their biggest trading period – Christmas. The Merwood family has a great affinity with the local area, and Casey is in close contact with many local small business owners via her own business.
“We live in Avalon and own two co-working spaces, one in Mona Vale and the other in Frenchs Forest,” she says.
“We have three kids under six who are all growing up here on the Beaches – we moved here when our eldest was nine months old because we wanted our kids to grow up with a lifestyle similar to what I had as a child (close to the beach, fresh air, outdoor lifestyle).”
Over the last 12 months, through both COVID-19 lockdowns, Casey’s co-working spaces flourished thanks to the huge increase in people having to work remotely. She’s eternally grateful to be in the minority of businesses who did well out of COVID, but she also believed her good fortune needed to be shared with other businesses in her much-loved Beaches area.
The Buy On The Beaches Initiative is Born
Casey was already thinking of ways to help promote local businesses prior to the second round of restrictions on the Beaches.
“In the lead up to Christmas, we ran a ‘Buy On The Beaches’ campaign on our social media to showcase all the amazing local businesses and to encourage everyone to shop locally,” she explains.
“It was really well received and we had so many comments from people saying they didn’t know the businesses existed, or that they had swapped to support a local business as a result of our posts. Little did we know that another full lockdown was imminent, which made the campaign even more important.”
What happened next?
In 48 hours, Buy on the Beaches had over 1,100 followers and countless shares, tags and comments across their Instagram and Facebook pages.
“The Northern Beaches Mayor, all the local councillors, state and federal MPs, the local chambers of commerce all started sharing our posts and encouraging everyone to do the same,” says Casey.
“Businesses started tagging us and using the hashtag #buyonthebeaches to let us know they exist. People are commenting on our posts to show their support for the local businesses we’re showcasing. And the businesses are so very grateful – we get messages of thanks all day long.”
To keep this momentum going, Casey urges the community to keep shopping locally whenever possible and encouraging everyone you know to do the same.
“Everyone can take pictures whenever they shop locally, or when they are at one of our beautiful beaches, etc and tag us in their posts so we can share them and spread the word even further,” says Casey. There’s definitely never been a better time to support local!
Main image: @classiccoffee via @buyonthebeaches
Apart from the Buy On The Beaches initiative, businesses and locals can also sign up for the NSW Government’s Dine & Discover initiative that gives everyone $100 to spend on the hospitality and arts industry. Read all about it by clicking here and then register! Northern Beaches Living also offers free and discounted advertising to assist businesses that have been affected by COVID restrictions, please get in touch via: firstname.lastname@example.org