The region’s new Buy Local campaign yesterday received a big cheque along with a ministerial stamp of approval.
Minister for Regional and Rural Development John Brumby handed over $40,000 for the scheme to keep shoppers’ money in local tills.
And he immediately got into the spirit of the campaign, visiting a Moorabool Street electrical store for a quick purchase.
Mr Brumby pointed out that a City of Greater Geelong retail strategy last year had found the region was losing around $1.2 million a day, or $380 million a year, from shoppers and businesses spending their money elsewhere.
“This campaign aims to address this by broadening community awareness and encouraging a coordinated approach to marketing the region, increased turnover for local businesses and more regional businesstobusiness purchasing,” Mr Brumby said.
Organisers have so far signed up almost 150 local businesses to the Buy Local campaign ahead of its official launch next week.
Customers shopping at Buy Local outlets will be eligible for a range of prizes as well as credits for gala auction events.
Participating businesses will share in a promotional budget of more than $150,000.
An alliance including the Independent, Geelong Business Network, the city’s chamber of commerce and regional councils is driving the campaign.