Wollondilly chambers band together to support small businesses

Argyle Street, Picton. Picture: Simon Bennett
Argyle Street, Picton. Picture: Simon Bennett

Wollondilly businesses have fought to stay afloat through floods, fires and the Covid-19 pandemic - now the region's chambers of commerce have a new plan to help them out.

The Picton, Appin, Wilton and Tahmoor chambers have banded together to create the Shop Local Wollondilly initiative.

The Shop Local plan will encourage shire residents to spend their money locally for the chance to win prizes.

Appin Chamber of Commerce president Lauren Eade said web-driven initiative would require locals to enter receipt details of local stores for the chance to win.

"Businesses will be able to register for the site from next Wednesday and we hope to have it ready to go before Christmas," she said.

"People will be able to win prizes based on their purchases throughout Wollondilly.

"It will also be a business registry - often you see people on community groups asking if people if they know any businesses that make or sell certain items.

"This is a great why to find out what is on offer throughout the shire, especially for online businesses, because it will all be in the one place."

Ms Eade said small businesses were an essential part of the Wollondilly economy.

"Small businesses are just people who are trying to achieve a dream, they are the mum and dad style businesses that have been hit a fair few times this year so we need to keep supporting them," she said.

"Particularly here in Appin - we know that most of the businesses here are run by Appin people who also support local and employ other Appin people.

"Supporting small business keeps that money in your local community."

The shire's chambers will also come together on Wednesday, September 25 for a united event with the Resilience NSW director of stakeholder relations and industry engagement Kylie Brydon-Smith as the special guest.

Picton Chamber of Commerce president Geoff O'Brien said the shire had faced a lot of hardship in the past few years.

"After the floods in 2016 we had an amazing response from the community and we've seen the same thing in the aftermath of the fires," he said.

"It's been a massive effort to recover and we have so much admiration for our emergency services people who were on the frontline.

"This is the first time all of the chambers will work collaboratively together to talk about how we get through, how we look to the future and where we are at now."

Mr O'Brien said the community had taken immense interest in shopping locally due in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said he looked forward to working alongside the other chambers to support the region's businesses.

"There are a lot of benefits of us coming together to collaborate on issues affecting the whole shire," he said.

"Our own areas have unique issues but having a united voice can only benefit business owners and customers across the shire.

"We very much appreciate the resurgence of people shopping locally - there is a whole new view on what our villages have to offer."