You could well say it has never been more important to support our local businesses.
With world economies in free-fall as the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps through nations around the globe, Australia is not immune to the machinations.
Predictions of recession and job losses are frightening. The unknown of it all is worrying and confusing - both in terms of health and the economy.
But we can all play our part in helping society and communities brace themselves as best they can by spending our money, when we need to and when we can, with local businesses.
Our aim should be to shop local and help keep businesses alive in the next 12-to-18 months, hopefully sustaining them enough to grow again once the economic recovery comes around.
It is always important to "get vocal, support local", no matter the existential threat.
South west businesses serve not only their "home towns", but the broader region. Where we live, shop and play is the foundation of our community and unique businesses are vital to our diverse character.
You can get better service because local businesses tend to hire people with knowledge of the products they are selling and provide better customer care by giving each of them special attention.
A local business is also a local customer, being more likely to support others of its kind in the community.
Local business owners live in the community they serve; this lessens the possibility of moving and increases their assets in the future of the community.
- Read the Get Vocal, Support Local e-mag edition HERE
Local businesses create and provide jobs for people and are one of the largest employers nationwide.
Research indicates that entrepreneurs and experienced workers will more likely live and invest in communities that preserve the characteristics of locally owned businesses.
Community groups and clubs also enjoy great support from local businesses, on average at a higher rate than big businesses. They are more likely to give back to the community and encourage entrepreneurial growth.
In the end, local business strengthens the economic base of every community. A good deal of the dollars spent with local businesses is used to make purchases from other local entities - creating a domino effect that can preserve a neighbourhood even in an economic slowdown.