GO LOCAL! Katikati leaders say now more than ever we need to help get businesses back on their feet.

The campaign will shine a light on businesses being innovative and supporting one another during levels 3 and 2 and beyond, as well as supporting specific buy-local initiatives in our communities.

Given current circumstances, now more than ever is the time to support our local people, businesses and suppliers, Western Bay Mayor Garry Webber said.

" 'BUY LOCAL' must be our new catch cry. We should also put into practice the saying, 'Don't leave home until you have seen the country.' "

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Welcoming in 2020, we all began to put in place our New Year resolutions, but none of us had Covid-19 listed, he said.

"Unfortunately, coronavirus has arrived in our community, and our economy has been dealt a body blow that will be felt for a long time to come.

"As each day goes by we are learning the real impact Covid-19 is having on many individuals, families and businesses who live in our communities."

Webber said the council is working hard to identify the part it will play in rebuilding communities and to get the economy operating as it was before the virus hit.

"Of the many projects we are looking to kick start, the critical outcome we are wanting to achieve is employment of local people, local businesses and local suppliers. Take the opportunity when we get past the lockdown to visit your local cafe, bar or restaurant.

"We are all in this together and we should all be working collaboratively 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!"

Like many of the messages appearing in the media to NZ and its people, much of the emphasis is around the need to support all our local businesses, as well as our nationwide NZ-owned entities.

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Katikati Community Board chairman Ben Warren said it is important for everyone to do their part.

"To grow a country we need to be supporting NZ-made products and become very educated consumers.

"Look at what you're buying and be happy to know you're supporting our NZ producers. This would be a great start to helping our country's economic revival.

"If we as a community and as a country build upon our NZ-owned businesses, then we are less reliant on overseas countries' goods and services."

Many of the goods exported here are simply not needed and come at a great cost to our environment and wellbeing, Warren said.

"We can all agree the Chinese economy is a very clever one and we need to take heed of what they have achieved. Learn from it and do it better here.

"NZ has resources wanted all over the world and we need to focus on adding value to them here, with our skill sets, our businesses and through our people.

"Start by buying and supporting local, look for NZ-made, NZ ingredients and then you know you are helping more Kiwis in a far more beneficial way. The Katikati Community Board wholeheartedly supports our local businesses and hope you all do so as well."

Katch Katikati town promotions manager Jacqui Knight said, "We've all heard a lot about unprecedented times, lockdown levels, business support, mentoring, the new way of doing business.

"There are some businesses that will be booming, but most are somewhere between holding their own. From talking with some local businesses many are looking at the new way of doing business, especially under level 3 and hopefully moving soon into level 2.

"Home deliveries, contactless sales, online sales — these are all the new norm."

For the past 10 years Katch Katikati has been looking at how to encourage people to shop locally.

"We have run Shop and Win competitions, looked at joint marketing, brainstormed, work-shopped and had many conversations with locals about supporting local businesses.

"Unfortunately one thing we don't see much of in Katikati is locals supporting the local retail sector. But now is the time to seriously start shopping locally, across all sectors."

While acknowledging that Katikati does not have the most enjoyable environment for shopping in the Main Street, if each household in Katikati spent less than $5 a week (just an extra $200 a year), into local businesses there would be nearly $1 million being put back into the local economy, Knight said.

"Now is the time for action. If we do not start to support local businesses our town will die. Businesses will close. Livelihoods will be devastated."

She said there is such a flow-on effect across the community with a downturn of businesses that we all must take personal responsibility and get shopping locally.

"Many of us have knocked on local business doors over the years asking for sponsorship, spot prizes and donations to our many activities, sports groups, events, etc.

"We have had our hand out long enough — it's payback time. Support local businesses and keep our town alive. I look forward to level 2 shopping sprees."