More than 70 businesses in the Geelong region have signed up to a new campaign to prevent escape spending ahead of an official launch next month.
Buy Local campaign organiser Digby Hughes, of Geelong Business Network, was pleased with the amount of interest shown in the scheme to reduce the amount of money locals were spending outside the region each day, estimated at $1.2 million.
He said traders associations throughout the region had thrown their weight behind the campaign, encouraging members to sign up.
Businesses joining the campaign will benefit from a massive promotional program directing customers to shop at outlets displaying Buy Local signage.
Customers at participating will be eligible for prizes and receive credits to buy goods at gala auction events.
Mr Hughes said the campaign did not exclude chain stores with outlets in Geelong because Buy Local was designed to generate more fulltime jobs in the city.
“Chain stores employ local people, too, and they use local service providers,” Mr Hughes said.
“But if the business isn’t prepared to use local suppliers then they can’t get involved in the campaign because they must sign up to the Buy Local policy.”
The policy requires participating businesses to use local suppliers if they can compete with outofregion suppliers.
“If you can’t find a local supplier that is competitive, we then encourage you to come to us and we’ll do our best to help you find one,” Mr Hughes said.
“Buy Local is about giving local suppliers a reasonable chance to compete with suppliers outside the region,”
Mr Hughes encouraged businesspeople interested in joining the campaign to phone Geelong Business Network on 5222 4766 or visit www.buylocalgeelong.com.au for more information.
An alliance of Geelong Chamber of Commerce, City of Greater Geelong, the Independent, Bay FM and Geelong Business Network is driving the Buy Local campaign.