Council and business leaders across the Waikato are throwing their support behind NZME's Go Local! campaign urging everyone to support local businesses - some of which are fighting for survival in the Covid-19 crisis.
The campaign is part of NZME's national GO NZ! campaign which over the past six weeks through its many brands and platforms has supported New Zealand businesses, communities and people during this time of need.
"I am incredibly supportive of the Go Local campaign and for Waikato residents to get out there and support their local businesses," Waikato Regional Council chairman Russ Rimmington said.
"We have so much to offer,"
"These businesses add so much colour to our street scapes so we have to support them and keep them going until normality resumes.''
He said he wanted to ensure Waikato Regional Council had a zero per cent rates increase, a first for New Zealand.
Mr Rimmington said the return of community newspapers with the Go Local! campaign was crucial to the region.
"One of the biggest issues in the rural areas is people have been missing their local newspapers and people are incredibly reliant on it as much as their other amenities," he said.
General Manager of the Hamilton CBD Association Vanessa Williams said she was in full support of the campaign to shop local.
"It's great to see so many campaigns like this coming out across New Zealand," Ms Williams said.
"These local businesses are the heart of our city. There are amazing personalities across our city, MK1 has been there for 30 plus years, Snapshot has been there for 90 years. They are all close to each other and have distinctive personalities."
"These businesses are not bound by mass guidelines and to me it is what creates the personalities in our city."
Ms Williams said it is important that residents stop looking at overseas offerings and look local for their products now.
"It would be disappointing to see local businesses and products shut down. Things like the Hamilton News, to not have your own local paper in your community.
"We all need to come together and support each other."
"I've always preferred to shop and buy services locally so this is something I've been actively promoting and will continue to promote," Hamilton mayor Paula Southgate said.
"Since lock-down I've been ordering from local suppliers that are open and able to operate.
"In alert level 3 I've hired some locals to do some trade services at home outside that need doing, and that they can do safely."
Waipa District Council mayor Jim Mylchreest said his council is looking at all contracts to see how they can support local businesses within the constraints of the legislation.
"This may mean breaking the contracts down to smaller parcels of work and looking to seek changes to existing restrictions," Mr Mylchreest said.
"It is essential for the community to support local businesses, particularly at this time, if we want to maintain a vibrant community and secure as much employment as possible for our residents."
Waikato District Council mayor Allan Sanson said that it will be vital for local businesses to have local support.
"Rural towns throughout NZ are very reliant on local people supporting them by buying local, whether that is your weekly groceries, fruit and vegetable shops, fuel, post shop, hairdressers, menswear, gift shops etc as examples or your favourite takeaway," Mr Sanson said.
"Without us supporting these businesses they will not survive which goes to the heart of what makes up a rural community.
"Other services to sustain a rural town are doctors, chemists, lawyers, accountants, dentists, to name a few of the professional services."