When we all woke up on New Year's Day and heralded in 2020, we all began to put in place our New Year resolutions, but none of us had Covid-19 listed among our resolutions and no one had it on their bucket list.
Unfortunately, Covid-19 has arrived in our community and our economy has been dealt a body blow that will be felt for a long time to come.
We are all learning, as each day goes by, the real impact that Covid-19 is having on many individuals, families and businesses in our communities.
Please rest assured your council is working really hard to identify the part we will play in the process of rebuilding our communities and to get our economy operating as it was before the virus hit.
As a well-managed provincial council, the Western Bay of Plenty District Council has a track record of working constructively in partnership with others for the betterment of the significant majority of its residents who live in our communities.
Of the many projects we are looking to kick start, the critical outcome we are wanting to achieve is the employment of local people, local businesses and local suppliers.
Given current circumstances, now more than ever, is the time to support our local people, businesses and suppliers.
"Buy Local" must be our new catchcry. We should also put into practice the saying "Don't leave home until you have seen the country". Look up the council website for "Walking Tracks – Western Bay of Plenty District Council" and you will be amazed at what there is just down the road from where you live.
Look up the Tourism Bay of Plenty website for attractions in your area. There's lots to do and you don't need an air flight to get there.
Take the opportunity when we get past the lockdown to visit your local cafe, bar or restaurant. Look after our local people, our local suppliers and local industries.
We are all in this together and we should all be working collaboratively together to find the best way out of the situation and to get those who have been negatively affected by the situation, back to work.
It won't be easy, but it is the right thing to do – buy local!