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Buy Local To Support Drought Affected Regions: MYOB

Experience of AUS drought highlights that almost three quarters of consumers will buy local to support affected areas

Based on experience across the Tasman, supporting businesses in drought-affected communities can make a real difference according to leading tech company MYOB, which is calling on Kiwi consumers to get out and buy local in the wake of New Zealand’s drought declaration.

The Government has just declared a large-scale adverse event for the North Island and top of the South, with multiple regions affected and some areas seeing the lowest rainfall in half a century.

MYOB NZ Country Manager Ingrid Cronin-Knight says the experience of Australia, which is recovering from the combined impacts of record drought and a horror fire season shows that local consumers have the power to make a difference.

“What we saw in Australia is not just the direct impacts of the drought on farming families, but also the wider effects that rippled out through farming communities. Local businesses in drought affected regions will now be feeling the pinch, as farmers are less able to spend on everything from vehicles and machinery to food at local cafes,” says Ingrid Cronin-Knight.

“In Australia, we have seen a concerted effort by people from across the country to buy local from the regions that saw the worst of the drought and the bushfires.”

Campaigns in Australia for drought and bushfire relief, such as Buy from the Bush, Empty Esky and Spend with Them, saw almost three-quarters (72%) of Australians encouraged to buy from local businesses according to MYOB research1. Almost half (42%) said they had already made a conscious decision to buy from drought or bushfire affected areas, including 68% of Generation Z respondents.

“There are many ways that Kiwi consumers can do the same thing, from purchasing online from a retailer in one of the regions, to making a conscious effort to stop at a local town to buy from the shops if you are travelling through the country,” says Ingrid Cronin-Knight.

“And the important thing here is it doesn’t just help hard-hit regions economically, it also sends a strong signal of support, which can be vital when farmers and business owners are facing such a difficult time.”

According to MYOB’s New Zealand research2 one in four (26%) rural business operators reported experiencing a mental health condition since starting or taking over their business, putting them at greater risk than average of experiencing a mental health condition or significant mental distress in their lifetime.

“Running a rural business can be pretty tough at the best of times. With so many issues to face at the moment – from the drought to the economic fallout of COVID19 – these pressures can be heightened by feelings of isolation and a lack of immediate and accessible support.”

“So, if Kiwi consumers make a concerted effort to buy local from affected regions, it really shows business operators in these communities that they are not alone.”

Ms Cronin-Knight says bigger businesses can also play a role in easing pressure on drought-affected communities.

“Whether it’s helping businesses manage their cash flow with timely supplier payment or offering more in terms of advice and support, again our experience in Australia has shown that rallying around the businesses and communities facing droughts can make an enormous difference.”

For its own part, MYOB will activate their hardship policy if required, which allows the company to work with directly-affected customers to tailor contracts to their immediate needs. MYOB customers can contact the company directly for more information.

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