Thinking of buying something? Think local. Considering picking up something to eat? Think local. Planning a day out with the family once all this Covid-19 craziness is over? Think local. Buy Local. Go Local!
That's the call behind a major new media campaign to help stimulate and support the local Taupō district economy.
Business, tourism, hospitality and retail came to a standstill when Covid-19 put the country into level 4 lockdown.
But as Taupō continues to adjust to life in level 3, NZME, publisher of the Taupō & Tūrangi Weekender, has launched Go Local!, a call to action for people to support local businesses and organisations. Right now, going local is more important than ever to help get local businesses back on their feet.
The Go Local! campaign will shine a light on businesses being innovative and supporting one another as well as and supporting specific buy local initiatives across the district.
Go Local! complements the Love This Place campaign, launched last week by Destination Great Lake Taupō, Enterprise Great Lake Taupō, Towncentre Taupō, Taupo Business Chamber, and Tūrangi Tourism Group with support from Taupō District Council, and district-wide i-Site visitor information centres. It aims to stimulate the local economy as it restarts after the devastating economic impacts of Covid-19.
• GO LOCAL! NZME regional titles launch support-local campaign
• Go Local! Harcourts Rotorua pay it forward to support essential workers
• Go Local! Rotorua's Coffee Chic receives a helping hand
• Go Local! Tauranga supports local businesses by wearing their brands
The Taupō district is heavily reliant on tourism, but Marketview figures for the year to March showed 60 per cent of the total revenue through core retail sectors in the district came from local spending.
In addition, locals spent about $150 million outside the Taupō district. Spending that money in the Taupō district instead will help retain jobs, keep shops open, businesses operating and families financially afloat.
That local support, Taupō district mayor David Trewavas emphasises, has never been more important.
Takeaway food and coffee a post-lockdown treat
"For some, the impacts of Covid-19 have been minor, and for others far more immense. One of the best things we can do right now is come together and make an effort to keep money flowing throughout our district by spending locally whenever we possibly can."
Kylie Hawker-Green of Enterprise Great Lake Taupō says the message is simple.
"The local business community need know that we've got their backs.
"It's about locals choosing where to make their discretionary spend. Many households and families will have less to spend so it's even more important that where they can, they are making those purchases through local providers and businesses," Kylie says.
"It's about small gestures that can have a huge impact. It's not about making huge purchases because that's not what everyone can do at the moment but those small things count. So instead of buying something from Wish that is sent to you from some place in China, see if you can find the same or similar locally.
"Think about what you buy from out of town. Could you get it here? Can you change your order? If you need something, think local first."
Julie McLeod, general manager of Towncentre Taupō, says the easiest way to find out who's operating locally is to visit the Facebook page Love This Place. The first post on the page will take you directly to a list of local businesses in Taupō and Tūrangi who are operating along with details of how to order from them.
"We're adding to the list all the time and it's district-wide so when you get into each category, for example, if you look under gifts and souvenirs Kowhai & Lilly in Tūrangi is listed as well as Taupō gift shops," says McLeod.
She adds that for some locals, it may require a change in thinking to buy from a business at level 3 because they have to operate differently.
"For example, accepting that you have to order online even though you might be standing right outside the store, so there's some learning about being patient and using the various systems in place."
But hang in there because every little local purchase helps, Julie adds.
"It's helping to keep someone employed, it's helping to keep money moving around our community."
Mike Bowie of the Tūrangi Tourism Group says there's no need to encourage people at the southern end of the lake to support their local businesses because they always do anyway.
"It's a given," says Bowie. "There's that strong sense of community, there really is.
'We're pretty resilient in Tūrangi. It's not about handouts, it's about a hand up, it's about what can you do to get everybody back on their feet."
Bowie says that although everybody in the Tūrangi/Tongariro area is proud of doing the right thing during the lockdown, it has come at a cost. Jobs have been lost and it will take a while to get things running again. But, he says from his discussions with locals and local business owners, there is a real determination to help Tūrangi recover.
Bowie hopes the Government will announce soon that inter-regional non-essential domestic travel will be allowed again, which would be a big boost to Tūrangi by allowing domestic visitors back to the area.