Buying local instead of online is the economic answer

"THE online market is killing local retailers."

That is the blunt truth from Chamber of Commerce president Peter Fraser who is encouraging the Central Queensland community to buy local.

Mr Fraser told The Morning Bulletin buying local was a major issue for the region and one that needed to be addressed.

"There are a number of different buy local programs I've seen, for instance loyalty programs, but I haven't seen one that's managed to kick on," Mr Fraser said.

"The secret to a buy local campaign is education; people need to understand it's ok to shop online but at the end of the day you must buy local, that's the key point.

"Online businesses have price as an advantage and have no fixed costs, such as face-to- face staff, and don't have the same level of costs that a shop has."

Not only would buying locally stimulate the economy, Mr Fraser said it would mean more local jobs.

"Typically anyone in Rocky will know someone who has been unemployed in the past six months," he said.

"With that in mind, we need to make sure we are creating as many opportunities as possible... and you have to spend money locally to do that."

Buying local is only one option that will be explored at a business summit meeting next week, focusing on boosting the local economy.

Mr Fraser said the summit was a chance to hear thoughts from local businesses and ask them questions on how to boost the local economy.

"We might not provide all the answers but we need raw material of knowing what the main issues are for businesses," he said.

"Capricornia has low business intensity with only 60 businesses per 1000 residents as opposed to Queensland and Australian ratios of 90 businesses per 1000 residents.

"This is damning of the lack of confidence entrepreneurs have in establishing their businesses in this local economy.

"The Chamber of Commerce is apolitical but it's certainly heartening to see that Buy Local is back on the agenda with the Team McMillan announcement.

"Let's hope that the incumbent council of both Rockhampton and Livingstone can support business with similar initiatives."

BUSINESS SUMMIT

  • November 11
  • 7am start (concludes at 8.30am)
  • Dreamtime Cultural Centre, Yaamba Rd
  • Tickets are $10
  • For more information visit capricorniachamber.com.au

LOCAL STATS

  • The Capricornia economy has 27% of its workforce in the industries of retail trade, manufacturing and accommodation and food services
  • The Capricornia unemployment rate fluctuates more than the Qld trend and typically sits 1% to 3% higher than the state's rate
  • The Rockhampton Local Government Area alone has a labour force of about 43,000 people


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