COMMUNITY SUPPORT: Despite the impact of coronavirus, locals are rallying behind CQ businesses in a new Facebook group.
COMMUNITY SUPPORT: Despite the impact of coronavirus, locals are rallying behind CQ businesses in a new Facebook group.

Social media group forms to help support local businesses

CQ locals looking to support businesses doing it tough during the pandemic have flocked in droves to join a new Facebook group called Support Local Buy Local.

The group was established as a platform to bring local businesses and residents ­together to share challenges, offer solutions and market ­opportunities to our community.

In the last 48 hours since the group was launched by the region's peak tourism and economic development organisation Capricorn Enterprise, it has gain huge traction with 1730 members joining - a number that is growing by the hour.

Capricorn Enterprise Chief Executive Mary Carroll said her organisation was no stranger to dealing with industry response and recovery activity when natural disasters had hit the region over the past decade.


Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll.
Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll.


But things were different this time around, she said, with the pandemic creating an unprecedented global impact on businesses, with millions of dollars lost and job cuts already occurring ­locally in the tourism industry, particularly in accommodation, hospitality and retail businesses which has an flow-on effect to other sectors.

"Now more than ever, it is critical that we support local and buy local, with businesses suffering millions of dollars of losses and laying off hundreds of casual workers just last week," Ms Carroll said.

"As part of our immediate response activity to this crisis, we launched the Support Local Buy Local Facebook page to encourage our local businesses and community to connect with each other and keep our money local.

"Cash is king in small business so we each need to do our bit as best we can.

"The variety of local businesses using the platform is incredible from tourism operators to tradies, from hairdressers to service stations, from artists to beauty therapists."

Ms Carroll said she had ­already personally connected with a few local businesses to tick off some jobs that had been on her list for a while like getting her roof insulated.

Given the need to stay connected in this crisis, Ms Carroll said it was important that we all stayed "as positive and kind as possible and genuinely help each other".

"At this rate, we hope to reach 10,000 members by the end of this week," she said.

"The Federal Government's additional multi-billion-dollar stimulus package over the weekend to further assist small businesses and their employees is very welcomed.

"Capricorn Enterprise will continue to work hard in this immediate response phase and we are working around the clock with our state ­industry bodies to plan the necessary recovery activity when it will be appropriate to do so."