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‘Shop local’ now call to action

The first week of Gisborne businesses operating during Alert Level 2 has been heartening, says City Centre Vibrancy manager Lana Davy.

A lot of the businesses were unable to operate at all during levels 3 and 4 and are trying to make the most of their “new normal” at Level 2.

Ms Davy said many businesses had to look at the way in which they operate and make necessary changes when Level 2 was announced.

“They have had to muck in, in true New Zealand form, to do what they need to survive,” Ms Davy said.

“Many businesses have drawn their loyal customers back with assurances of safety and agility to operate in the new landscape.”

“Shop local” is a message that changed a lot due to Covid-19.

“Before our world went into lockdown, ‘shop local' was a message to our community to get out and about and shop, rather than shopping online,” Ms Davy said.

“Now it's seen as a call to action to support locally-owned and operated businesses in your region.

“This message has been heard loud and clear, with all types of marketing around the country, and Tairawhiti is absolutely showing their support of this kaupapa (principle).”

The message Ms Davy is getting from businesses is “hang in there”.

“I am personally proud of Tairawhiti. I have watched many of our locally-owned-and-operated boutique businesses re-evaluate their operating style,” Ms Davy said.

“This came out of necessity, but going forward it will be so beneficial in the sustainability of their businesses with future-proofing for years to come.

“There are many unknowns but all in all the mood is positive.

“Make hay while the sun still shines,” she said.

SHOP LOCAL: Gisborne City Vibrancy manager Lana Davy has been supporting local businesses by setting up a Facebook page to promote them to a wider audience. Picture by Paul Rickard