How your $750 can keep local businesses open
NORTHERN Rivers retailers have made a call to the community to make a "conscious choice" on how to spend the money announced by the Federal Government to stimulate the economy.
Macadamia Castle owner Tony Gilding said now was the time to think about where to spend that extra $750 in a way that it will benefit locals.
"We can't tell people what to do, but we can ask them ‒ when you have that $750 in your pocket, make a conscious choice about how to spend it and how to best help the local community," he said.
"If everyone in the Northern Rivers gets behind local business, we'll get through this without too much trouble. Now it's the time to think and buy local.
"If you follow the guidelines and keep away from other people, you can still enjoy a restaurant, you can still enjoy an ice cream along the beach, you can still visit an animal park or get take away."
Mr Gilding, who has owned the Macadamia Castle for 12 years, said trade at the moment was not as bad as during the bushfires, but the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has no end date yet.
The executive highlighted now was the time to focus on whether the money spent stays locally.
"If you go to a servo and you spend $100, only about $15 goes back to the local community, only the wages," he said.
"At a local restaurant, something like 65 to 70 per cent of the dollars that you spend stay in the local community.
"If you go to the local pub and you order a local boutique beer, probably 65 per cent or so of that will be going to the local community.
"If you come to the Macadamia Castle, about 80 per cent of all the takes on the till go to local staff, local service producers, food for the animals."
Northern Rivers regional manager of the NSW Chamber of Commerce, Jane Laverty, said the stimulus package will help businesses manage their cash flow and keep staff employed.
"In uncertain times, all sides and levels of politics must pull together," she said.
"Business owners will be relying on Labor to support the stimulus package when it comes before parliament.
"Equally, the NSW Government must use its strong balance sheet to boost confidence for local businesses."