Australians Called on to Shop Local This Christmas

December 16, 2020 Updated: December 16, 2020

Australians are being encouraged to buy local to help support small businesses impacted by the bushfires, the CCP virus pandemic, and its subsequent government-imposed restrictions this Christmas—the most critical pocket of time to get small businesses over the line.

This comes as Deloitte’s latest retail forecasts report says that although some retailers are looking at a positive run into Christmas, for some businesses it could spell the end.

“While spending on food and household goods are well above pre-COVID levels, clothing, department stores, and cafes are all lagging,” Deloitte partner David Rumbens said on Dec. 15.

Despite the drop in the number of insolvencies Rumbens sees a risk of “insolvency catch-up” in the first half of 2021 with stimulus measures slowly phasing out. “The Christmas period is critical in any year,” he said.

Sydney and Melbourne usually attract larger numbers of international tourists, but with restricted borders, Christmas spending is forecast to come in 0.7 percent lower in Sydney than a year ago and 3.3 percent lower for Victoria, according to Roy Morgan’s forecast.

Sydney Christmas Tree
Sydney Christmas Tree at Sydney Martin Place. (Katherine Griffiths/City of Sydney)

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said that many local retailers are still struggling from the impact of an edgy year.

“It’s more important than ever that we support local retailers this Christmas and ensure they’re ready to thrive again in the new year,”  Moore said in a media release. “If you’re buying presents this year, please consider shopping local. Every dollar you spend can make a difference to a local business and those in our community who work there.”

‘We’re Living in the Best Gift Shop in the World’

The Australian government’s tourism agency has also encouraged Aussies to put holidays under the tree to support local tour operators this year.

Tourism Australia’s Managing Director Phillipa Harrison said that Australians were living in the best gift shop in the world.

“What better way to capture the rising optimism we’re seeing at the moment, as travel restriction ease and borders re-open again than by gifting a holiday or a holiday experience. And what better gift shop than Australia itself,” Harrison said in a news release. “The memories wrapped up in an Australian holiday are priceless, and the benefits that flow through to our tourism operators and the communities that they support are enormous.”

Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said that Australians are needed to help fill the void until international borders re-open again.

“This upcoming holiday season is the perfect opportunity to spend time with loved ones and have a cracking time, by booking one of the incredible tourism experiences on offer around Australia such as a cooking lesson, a whale-watching expedition, a diving experience, or a whisky tasting tour,” he said.