Small businesses affected by the catastrophic bushfires beginning late last year have seen a whopping $5 million increase in sales, as a result of one Aussie woman’s Buy From The Bush campaign.
In December last year amidst the devastating drought, Grace Brennan started the campaign on Instagram and Facebook to encourage Australians to visit regional cities and support their businesses.
And it worked: the businesses featured on the Buy From The Bush social media accounts have seen a $5 million total revenue uplift in sales, according to new data from AlphaBeta.
On average, each business saw a whopping 300 per cent increase in sales, and one-in-five businesses were able to hire new workers.
Three quarters of businesses featured now ship interstate - more than double the share that did so prior to the campaign.
But the buck didn’t stop with sales growth: 90 per cent of business owners experienced improved quality of life across human connection, community relationships and new local businesses.
Business owners also reported spending their earnings on local goods and services, and attempting to give back by volunteering or joining community groups.
Children’s clothing designer Kennedy The Label generated $30,000 in Christmas sales - a whopping fourfold year-on-year increase - after being featured on the campaign’s Facebook and Instagram.
The South Australian farming family behind Singing Magpie Produce revealed they sold $40,000 worth of orders in just four days - almost half of their regular annual sales - after being featured.
“Platforms like Facebook and Instagram can be a great equalizer for businesses in regional and remote Australia,” Mia Garlick, director of policy for Facebook Australia and New Zealand said.
“The research announced today highlights how social platforms have helped to level the playing field for bush businesses. It can send a message of hope during these challenging times for small business owners across the country, especially those impacted by bushfires and Covid-19.”
Grace Brennan, founder of Buy From The Bush, said it was life-changing.
“It’s evidence of how powerful community driven action, enabled by digital technologies like Instagram and Facebook, can be,” Brennan said.
“It has changed lives.”
Brennan said with ongoing investment, the campaign could significantly improve economic and social outcomes for rural Australia in the long term.
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