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BYRON BUSINESSES RALLY BEHIND LOCAL BUYING CAMPAIGN AS TOURIST TRADE SLUMPS

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BYRON BUSINESSES RALLY BEHIND LOCAL BUYING CAMPAIGN AS TOURIST TRADE SLUMPS
BYRON BUSINESSES RALLY BEHIND LOCAL BUYING CAMPAIGN AS TOURIST TRADE SLUMPS

BYRON BUSINESSES RALLY BEHIND LOCAL BUYING CAMPAIGN AS TOURIST TRADE SLUMPS

By Margaret Dekker

A group of Byron Bay traders met last Friday to discuss a slump in trade in the iconic tourist town due to plummeting tourist numbers and foot traffic.

Katie Munro from clothing label Arnhem told The Northern Rivers Times talk is rife among traders about concerns over in-store sales falling across an array of businesses in the community.  In her conversations with other local businesses there are reports of revenue dropping by as much as 60 percent.

“People were buying last year, but with fear and the ongoing uncertainty about the virus, this year buying habits have shifted to what is essential,” Katie Munro said.

“And there’s no one in town,” she said.

The irony of the situation, Katie says, is while Byron Shire property prices are booming and millions of dollars are being injected into real estate, the big spending is not being replicated in local tills.

And despite mounting requests from shop tenants, commercial landlords are firmly refusing rent relief on Byron Bay shopfronts which can average around $2,000 a week on the premium strips.

In a united effort to stem the engulfing tide, Byron Bay retailers and restaurateurs have begun a new ‘Love for Locals’ campaign, rewarding shoppers from the Shire with experiences and store discounts, and special offers and deals between traders.  ‘Love for Locals’ is being pitched at old and new ‘Byronians’ in an effort to “get the town going again.”

“.. Conversations have started around buying local, not giving our dollar to big multinational companies .. We can make an impact if we stop and consider every little spending decision we make,” Katie Munro said.

With news late last week of virus fragments detected in Byron Bay wastewater, and a new alert over a COVID-19 positive person landing in Ballina from Sydney on July 14, the mood has shifted again with Byron Bay last weekend likened to ‘a Ghost Town.’

But Katie Munro says there is also energy and optimism stirring as traders collaborate with other local businesses and begin embedding new behaviours with a focus on supporting local; to move from ‘struggling’ to surviving and thriving ‘during these strange times.’

“Conversations have started. There’s a movement, momentum among local traders, we can get through this again.” Katie Munro said.

 

 

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NSW Premier refuses to meet collectively with mayors of 12 COVID-hit communities

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QR codes, masks and tests please

NSW Premier refuses to meet collectively with mayors of 12 COVID-hit communities

The NSW Premier has refused to meet collectively with mayors in the 12 local government areas (LGAs) hardest hit by COVID-19 to discuss the devastating impacts of the State’s health orders on their communities.

Local Government NSW (LGNSW) President Linda Scott asked Premier Gladys Berejiklian on August 16 to meet with LGNSW and the affected community leaders, as well as the Minister for Health and the Police Commissioner, but this week the Premier declined to take the meeting.

“The Premier says she wants to hear the voices of local communities and is willing to meet with community leaders but has rejected this opportunity to meet collectively with the 12 mayors working night and day through the impacts of the current outbreak,” Cr Scott said.

“I’m surprised the Premier would reject such a golden opportunity to build consensus in facing down this very real threat to the well-being of our most vulnerable communities. These leaders are willing to set aside the time, but the Premier seems unwilling.

“The Premier’s rejection of our request actually breaches the commitment made in the Intergovernmental Agreement, which the Premier signed on behalf of State Government and I signed on behalf of local government in October 2019.

“In this agreement, the Premier promised to consult with LGNSW and our sector before any significant policy decisions were made and to work with us to achieve positive outcomes for our communities. But on this occasion it has not happened.”

Cr Scott rejected suggestions her public disappointment with the Premier’s response was politically motivated.

“The 12 affected local government areas have mayors and councillors of every political stripe, including Liberal, Labor and Independents,” she said.

“This is a bipartisan attempt to work better together for NSW communities that need our support. There’s never been a more crucial time for all elected leaders to put aside any political differences and work together.”

Cr Scott said LGNSW would continue to push for the collective meeting on behalf of the mayors in affected communities.

“I am continuing to call on the Premier to honour her Government’s commitment to work with us as equals and meet these 12 mayors and councillors who are working so hard to support our communities and are feeling ignored,” she said.

“Mayors and councillors are continuing to provide effective and meaningful leadership to support our communities through droughts, floods, bushfires and COVID. They are on the frontlines of this battle, getting calls from anxious community members on a daily basis.

“The NSW Government should be working with us to lead our communities out of these dark times rather than ignoring something as simple and potentially beneficial as a collective, sit-down online discussion.

“I hope the Premier reconsiders and accepts our offer soon.”

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Business News

NSW LABOR CALLS ON THE GOVERNMENT TO PRIORITISE SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT

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Ballina News-Lismore news-Grafton News-Byron Bay News-Tweed Shire News-Casino News-Richmond Valley News-Byron Shire News-Clarence Valley News

NSW LABOR CALLS ON THE GOVERNMENT TO PRIORITISE SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT

NSW Labor is calling on the Government to prioritise the coordination of financial support for small businesses impacted by the Greater Sydney lockdown with reports that over half of the 130,000 businesses who have applied, yet to receive a single cent.

The NSW Government has repeatedly assured businesses that they would be supported through this crisis with payments for businesses suffering a downturn of 30 per cent or more. Despite these promises many small businesses have been left waiting as the Government has been unable to manage the demand for support.

NSW Labor leader Chris Minns said so many small businesses have made massive sacrifices to keep our community safe, but many are hanging on a knife’s edge with huge losses of income and reduced cash flow.

“We are six weeks into lockdown and many small businesses are yet to receive the financial support that was promised to them. It’s unacceptable. Small businesses are the lifeblood of the NSW economy with support lagging, there will be many businesses who will find it difficult to recover,” Mr Minns said.

“These are real people trying to keep their businesses afloat. Every day that support is delayed is a day closer to more businesses being unable to recover once this lockdown ends – people’s livelihoods are at stake.

Shadow Minister for Small Business Steve Kamper said, “We really are asking a lot of small businesses to keep the community safe. The least we can do is ensure the proper financial support is available and flowing fast.

“Support is needed now – there is too much at stake, for individuals, families, communities and the state’s economy,” Mr Kamper said.

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Business News

Risk of misinformation on the rise on social media

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Risk of misinformation on the rise on social media
Risk of misinformation on the rise on social media

Risk of misinformation on the rise

 
• One fifth of people act on what they see or hear on social media
• A quarter trust the information they find on social media
• Risk of misinformation on the rise as people disengage from traditional communication
 
Sydney, NSW – The power of social media to influence people’s behaviour is on the rise as other forms of communication become less effective.
This is a key finding from the latest Togetherness Index released today by strategic communication consultancy SenateSHJ.
 
Social media is playing a significant role in motivating people to change their behaviour, which amplifies the risk of misinformation as well as helping to connect people.
A third of those surveyed found communication on social media from sources other than friends and family effective. A quarter trusted this information while a fifth of people say they have changed their behaviour because of what they have found on social media.
 
Darren Behar, Managing Partner at SenateSHJ, said the proportions have held up despite warnings about the influence of social media and of misinformation found on these platforms.
 
He said: “At the same time the influence of business, government, local community leaders and even friends and family have slipped. It would seem we are less engaged with traditional sources of information, perhaps because of COVID-19 fatigue. People are turning to social media for information, and while they may find trusted sources, the risk of exposure to misinformation is heightened.”
 
Nationally, less than four in 10 Australians are engaging with government communication, slipping from almost 50% during the first half of the COVID-19 pandemic, and media now only influential with one in four according to the annual Togetherness Index.
 
Fewer than one in three respondents gave a lot or some thought to communication from community leaders, while 24% did so to communication from leaders of large businesses – also down on last year. Concerningly the most powerful influencers of our behaviour, family saw the most significant drop from 57 to 43%.
 
Jodie Wrigley, Head of Health and Social Change at SenateSHJ, said it is now more important than ever to ensure people can spot misinformation.
 
She said: “Eighteen months into this pandemic people are engaging less with communication from businesses and leaders in the community showing they are fatigued and potentially complacent. This is to be expected.
 
“It’s important to keep bringing the community together, to appeal in many ways to different sectors of the community and to do so in a variety of ways, including at the community level. We must also
make sure people who are turning to social media know where do go for trusted information, and how to pick up on misinformation.”
 
The Togetherness Index is based on a survey of 1,000 Australians. The original research explores what components of communication contribute to togetherness, or social cohesion, within the community.

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