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A BUY local campaign called Buy Douglas: Build Douglas is encouraging people to spend their money in Douglas Shire and build the economy in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Economic Recovery Group, which features Douglas Shire Council, Douglas Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Port Douglas Daintree (TPDD) and Jabalbina Aboriginal Corporation, has today launched the campaign to get everyone to ‘Do It In Douglas’.

Local business owners are fronting the new campaign in a bid to encourage people to support the sector during this challenging period.

Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr said the Buy Douglas: Build Douglas campaign would highlight the range of industries and local businesses in the region.

“Now, it is more important than ever before to Do It In Douglas,” he said.

“If the shire’s 12,000 people make a conscious decision to source goods and services locally, this will make an enormous difference on the road to recovery and rebuilding our economy.

“This could be by regularly getting takeaway, getting your car serviced locally, or switching to a local professional service to ensure small businesses survive.”

A Buy Douglas: Build Douglas campaign website and Facebook page are now live.

Posters, corflutes, bumper stickers, flyers and shop window decals will be delivered in coming days.

Council staff have also been filming short videos with local businesses to support the campaign.

The Port Douglas and Mossman Gazette, Newsport, Fab FM and What’s On In Port are backing the campaign as media partners.

Douglas Chamber of Commerce President Liz Ross said local businesses were finding it extremely tough in the current climate.

“We are all in this together,” she said.

“Supporting local business helps to grow and retain jobs within the community.

“Local businesses are owned by people who live in the community, who understand their community and the needs of the residents.

“Every day brings new challenges and once businesses start to reopen, those who are supported by locals will be able to manage easier in the knowledge that there is a community that cares.”

The Douglas Chamber of Commerce is offering business owners an opportunity to stay connected with a free 12-month membership.

TPDD Chief Executive Officer Tara Bennett said that many tourism businesses were in total hibernation, however identified a sense of optimism for the next six months.

“We have witnessed some brilliant pivots into takeaway options, delivery and food producers expanding their supply chain, however the reality is many tourism products are limited in options to adapt,” she said.

“Shop local, think beyond takeaway meals, and consider experience gifting for your friends and relatives who are sure to be heading our way as soon as restrictions lift.

“Every dollar we can keep in Douglas goes towards keeping our community in jobs and businesses open.”

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