Community News

Think Big Shop Local drive North Coast job growth

Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker has called on consumers to support North Coast shops and services as part of a national campaign to drive small business sector growth. “Everyone can make a difference and drive jobs and economic growth on the North Coast through buying local,” Mr Hartsuyker said. “Each time we put our hand in our pocket and spend even $5 on goods, it boosts turnover and increases the chance they will hire more staff to support that increase in business.” The Think Big Shop Small campaign runs throughout November to remind us all of the contribution local small business makes to our regional economy. Small businesses are critical to the Australian economy, providing 4.5 million jobs nationally and $340 billion to the economy. “Local businesses’ strength produces a strong North Coast economy and community,” Mr Hartsuyker said. “The Department of Employment has already forecast over 13% employment growth in the Coffs Harbour-Grafton area over the next five years – the equivalent of 8,500 new jobs in the area. “We can drive that figure even higher if we go to the corner shop instead of going online, or opting for local fruit instead of buying it imported in a tin. “Our region’s unemployment rate is already almost 1% below the national average due a resurgence in agriculture, growth of our horticulture industry and the flow-on effects to businesses from the Pacific Highway Upgrade,” Mr Hartsuyker said. The Economy of Shopping Small Report released by American Express this month, found that nearly two-thirds of consumers believe their local small shops gave the community its identity and charm.