As a youngster growing up in Warkworth, I would save up my pocket money and, when I had accumulated enough, I would head with my mother to McLaren's Books to buy the latest Nancy Drew mystery.
There was no Amazon, no online retailers – there was no online – and no chain-store retailer. We shopped at the locally-owned bookstore. Apart from the occasional trip to Auckland, all our shopping was done locally.
Over the past five weeks we have done our bit to stop Covid-19 from advancing across the country and it seems, at this stage, we have been successful in that mission – from a medical standpoint, at least.
But the economic impact of the lockdown has been swift and painful. Now we are in level 3, businesses have had to adapt to new rules and regulations and some will still struggle to operate at all.
As a local business, the Northern Advocate has had to adapt, too, while continuing to publish throughout. Today we're launching Go Local! - a campaign to champion local business, and encourage you, our readers, to help support the Northland economy. Choose local goods and services. Choose local retailers. Go local whenever and wherever you can.
As Northland Inc chief executive Murray Reade says in our story today "As soon as we can, get out and start engaging with the community and the businesses. We want to see local businesses survive, particularly now."
With the Go Local! campaign we will bring you over the coming weeks stories of local business innovation and success, tales of inspirational thinking and telling you how you can play a part in rebuilding our local economy.
There are still challenges ahead, and will be for some time. The sooner we begin to rise to those challenges as a community the better for all of us.
So now's the time to find your McLaren's bookshop, that special local shop that is your first port of call.
Northlanders are resilient and if we work together we can do this. Now is the time.