IT’S been a tough few years for local retailers. They’ve had to weather the global financial crisis and the rise of online shopping, and some have had to trade around construction crews building the new Crawford Street lifestyle precinct.
A downturn in profits from 15 to 30 per cent has been the common result right across town, according to Queanbeyan mayor Tim Overall.
Now the Queanbeyan Business Council – supported by Queanbeyan City Council and The Queanbeyan Age – is hoping to turn things around with a new ‘‘Buy it in Queanbeyan’’ campaign. It’s aimed at keeping local dollars in town, rather than Queanbeyan residents crossing the border to shop in Canberra.
Business Council president Jamie Cregan said shopping locally was about more than just helping local business. It helped the whole town, he said.
‘‘It’s crucial; it’s the majority of their [local retailers] trade,’’ Mr Cregan said.
‘‘We need our local population to realise how important it is for our sporting groups to survive. Sponsorship for local sports teams comes from local business. Money for local charities comes from local business and local individuals. We need to recognise that fact. We need to make sure that we push our residents into buying locally.
‘‘We want to see businesses locally thrive on the back of the Crawford Street precinct, on the back of Googong going ahead, and hopefully on the back of Tralee going ahead. We want to see that our residents are proud to live in Queanbeyan, proud to use Queanbeyan services, and are proud to buy locally,’’ he said.
The Business Council launched its new business directory on Tuesday, which features a broad range of Queanbeyan-based retailers and service-providers.
Alongside The Queanbeyan Age’s existing local business directory, residents will now be more informed on what’s available in their own backyard.
‘‘It’s hard to buy locally if you don’t know what’s here,’’ Mr Cregan said.
‘‘When you’ve got to shop through all the Canberra adverts in the yellow pages to find a local person, it’s not as easy to buy locally even if they want to,’’ he said.
Some 22,000 copies of the new directory will be delivered over the coming weeks, reaching every home and business in Queanbeyan.
It will be further bolstered by the new edition of the Queanbeyan Age Business Directory, to be published in September.
To list your business in The Queanbeyan Age Business Directory, call 6297 3033