Right now, the world is experiencing an unprecedented emergency as Covid-19 spreads - this is affecting not only our health but also threatening the businesses within the communities we call home. To try and share some local love, here are a few ways to support our local Canberra businesses.
1. Shop at your local independent supermarket
Stories of people brawling among the empty shelves at major supermarkets are becoming an all too familiar feature of life. The good news is Canberra has many fantastic independent supermarkets and the shelves there are looking a lot fuller than those at the majors. Yes, you might pay a couple of dollars more but these small supermarkets are locally owned, employ locals and best of all, often stock local products so its a win-win-win.
2. Visit the Farmer's Markets
Because farmer's markets are considered an 'essential service' they are going ahead for now. You may notice some small changes but what won't change is the fact that they are bursting with fresh, local produce. If you've never been, the Capital Region Farmer's Market and the Southside Farmer's Market provide the perfect chance to stock up on essentials and support local producers.
3. Go virtual
Handmade Canberra has recently announced that they'll take their next market into cyberspace so the makers still have a platform to sell. You can also check out initiatives like those offered by As Nature Intended who are offering a facetime shopping experience and Urban Providore who can put together and deliver a hamper of local food and wine. Keep a lookout for other businesses selling produce online too.
While eating at restaurants isn't on the cards right now, check in with your favourite local and see what takeaway options they are offering. This is a great way to keep businesses viable while giving yourself a night off from cooking!
5. Check out your local Buy Nothing Groups
There are a stack of Buy Nothing Facebook groups. These have traditionally been a space to offer your unwanted items to be reused but are now morphing into a place where people in need are putting out requests for help. Check it out and see if you might be able to help out someone in need.
6. Choose local brands where you can
Canberra has plenty of locally made food and wine. Where you can find this in stores, why not give it a try? I've found local wine, beer, spirits, milk, sauces, condiments, smallgoods, dips, bread, frozen meals and more at the supermarket and the quality is top-notch.
Markets and small local shops are stocked with food
7. Download some local music
The live music and entertainment industries are taking a big hit but why not use this time to discover some local musicians? You may not be able to go to a gig for a while but downloading their music is a great way to show some love!
8. Be kind!
Above all else, where you see a parent struggling with five kids or someone struggling to push their elderly relative in a wheelchair around a near-empty supermarket, if they look like they need it, offer some help. Or if you're not comfortable with that just offer a smile - right now, we all need a little extra kindness.