By Anthony Probert
A CAMPAIGN urging shoppers and businesses to buy local has stepped up, with two Albany business owners gaining traction with their message.
Best Office System’s Phil Shilcock and Synergy Graphic’s Nicola Edwards joined forces to launch the Buy Albany, Buy Local Facebook page last week and have already had a positive response.
Mr Shilcock said his push to encourage people to buy local began two years ago in conjunction with the Albany Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with the distribution of posters through their newsletter.
Having since stepped down as a board member with the chamber, he still felt passionate about doing what he could to improve the local economy.
“It’s great that the chamber promotes the message and that our local member drives around with the ‘Buy Local’ number plates, but local businesses need to step up and get involved,” Mr Shilcock said.
He welcomed the state government’s announcement of the appointment of local content officers to promote regional small business, but said he would wait to see the results before passing judgement.
“There are a lot of government departments down here that exist only to serve the local community and they are funded by our tax dollars,” he said.
“Unfortunately, the majority of them now follow a centralised procurement model. We have had lots of promises from both sides of politics over the years to sort it out, but my experience is it’s get- ting worse.”
Ms Edwards said she was also driven to promote the buy-local message for the benefit of the entire community by providing information, resources and offers in conjunction with local businesses in a fun and engaging way through their Facebook page.
She said the pair were simply volunteering their time to a cause they felt strongly about as business owners.
“We are apolitical and not funded by any organisations,” she said.
“We are independent, concerned business owners and Albany residents just volunteering our time.”
Ms Edwards encouraged residents to support their Facebook page to help get the message out there.
“If you are a locally owned and operated business in Albany, and are interested in showing your support, please like the page and send us a message so BABL can support and promote your business,” she said.