Article courtesy of Moreton Daily
Moreton Bay Regional Council is spearheading a six-week community campaign encouraging locals to eat, drink, shop, play, spend at and back a local business.
The widespread campaign, Back a Local, kicks off on February 16 and follows the recent COVID-19 Omicron wave which has adversely affected local businesses with staff shortages, supply chain issues and loss of visitation.
Mayor Peter Flannery has a clear message for Moreton Bay Region residents – next time you pull out your wallet, think local first.
“Here in Moreton Bay, it’s in our DNA to embrace the Aussie way and look out for each other,” Mayor Flannery says.
“As a local resident myself, I’m pledging to back a local business whenever I can in 2022, and I’m urging the community to join the cause.
“With more than 29,000 businesses in the Moreton Bay Region supporting 140,000 jobs, I ask the community to work together as part of ‘Team Moreton Bay’, to help shape our region into Queensland’s best place to live, work and play.
“Whether it’s choosing to celebrate a special occasion at a local restaurant, engaging in a professional service, or buying gift, I urge you to take a moment to consider where you’re going to spend your hard-earned dollars. By backing a local business you’re helping keep their doors open, staff employed and money in our local economy.”
To help residents show their support, a range of free resources are available on the Moreton Bay Regional Council website, including printable Back a Local posters.
The community can help spread the message by sharing social media assets on their personal and business Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as using the Back a Local profile frame.
“Over the next six weeks, I hope to see consumers develop a greater awareness of local businesses and the huge difference their support can make to the local business owners, their staff and families.
“It’s our goal that the legacy and impacts of this campaign extend well beyond this campaign, and locals continue to back locals, well into the future.”
It is a goal welcomed by Luvaberry farm at Wamuran, The Store of Requirement at Samford, Dreamtime Kullilla Art at Clontarf and Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology at Caboolture.
Hannah Worthy, the managing director of The Store of Requirement at Samford, welcomes the campaign, saying the shop has been coming up with creative ideas to draw patrons not only to their business but to others in the village.
“We count ourselves lucky - we’ve been able to keep our doors open, but it’s hurt us financially, and we’ve had to cut our staff hours quite considerably, which has been hard on our small team,” Hannah says.
“We’re a tight-knight community here in Samford, and locals backing locals is in our DNA.
“We try and do our part to back local businesses wherever we can, whether it’s from selling cupcakes from a local supplier, or encouraging our visitors to explore around Samford.”
Kim Muldoon says The Store of Requirement launched interactive game Wizards Adventure last year, with two adventures to choose from.
“They take visitors on a scavenger hunt around Samford Village, where the player solves riddles to make their way around the village,” Kim says.
“They get the opportunity to explore other businesses in the village, such as the Museum, information centre, garden centre and local bank.
“You don’t need a knowledge of Harry Potter to play either, it’s problem solving and riddles.”
Michael Connolly, who has run Dreamtime Kullilla Art at Clontarf for almost 30 years, welcomes the campaign, saying there has never been a better time for people to discover the rich tapestry of local businesses across the region.
“Locals are bringing more family and friends to enjoy our beautiful area – it’s important that local people know who we are and how we’re supporting the community,” Michael says.
He and wife Jo started Dreamtime Kullilla Art in 1996 under an umbrella at a local market, selling ethically sourced authentic Indigenous art to support the creators.
For Michael, the business is about much more than simply selling products – it’s also about educating the community about First Nations culture and tradition and sharing the stories behind each piece.
“We promote our culture and support traditional owners in the area.
“We’re not only about cultural heritage, we’re also a cultural education centre and people come to us for that reason,” he says.
Mandy Schultz, whose family owns Luvaberry Farm, says while we may be out of lockdown and restrictions have eased, that does not mean businesses are “out of trouble”.
“We’re trying to get the message across to locals who don’t realise how much food is grown here in Moreton Bay,” Mandy says.
Without catering events, big cruise ships and a thriving hospitality industry many have excess produce they would love to see on the tables of locals instead of going to waste.
The family farm, best-known for strawberries is now growing more herbs, finger limes and also cucamelons – a small melon that looks like a miniature watermelon and tastes like a lime-flavoured cucumber.
They have also been selling freeze dried strawberries via their website and hosting open days. The next one is on Sunday, February 27 from 9am-3pm where visitors can pick their own cucamelons and finger limes. They can also pick their own herbs or buy already-picked produce.
“There’s so many ways you can have a day out locally. You can go from visiting us to Ocean View Estates … you can build in lots of different places and experiences,” Mandy says.
“If you’re going out for dinner, ask if the produce is grown locally. It might make restaurants and cafes think about where their produce is coming from too.”
Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology Director Edith Cuffe says the campaign and stronger local visitation is key to keeping its doors open and continuing its work in preserving precious historic artefacts.
“We’d love to see our locals who haven’t been to see the museum or even those who have to come along and see what we have here,” Edith says.
“There’s a world of history on their doorstep. It’s a wonderful opportunity to visit the museum and see artefacts from around the world and see stained glass windows that date back to the 15th century.”
Locals typically make up 25-30 per cent of visitors to the museum and during the Abbey Medieval Festival, the figure is more than 50 per cent.
COVID-19 has forced the cancellation of the signature Abbey Medieval Festival for the past two years, which has had a huge impact on the museum’s income and public events program.
The museum is taking bookings now for its Easter school holiday program and has other activities throughout the year. Visit abbeymuseum.com.au