Push to shop locally gathers momentum across Tweed

Tweed Shire Council

As businesses struggle to get back on their feet in the wake of the devastating flood, Council is getting behind the expansion of an innovative plan to spend money locally.

Launched in Murwillumbah in August 2021, the success of the Why Leave Town pilot program is now prompting the expansion of the scheme across other regions of the Tweed.

In the aftermath of the recent flood disaster, there has never been a more crucial time to spend locally and support impacted local businesses.

A recent study conducted by Council found businesses who responded to the survey suffered more than $57 million in damages during the recent flood, with the true cost to local businesses likely to be far higher.

The Why Leave Town gift card program is designed to keep money in the local community by encouraging people to shop locally.

Council’s Senior Economic Development Officer Kym Kranen said expanding the scheme would be a significant boost for Tweed businesses.

“The generosity shown in helping residents and businesses on the daunting road to recovery has been outstanding,” Ms Kranen said.

“What we need to do now is ensure that donated funds are spent locally to support Tweed businesses.

“Not only will that help them get back on their feet but also allows them to get their staff back into employment.”

The Murwillumbah trial began in August 2021 and by the end of January 2022, a total of 629 Why Leave Town Murwillumbah cards had been ‘loaded up’ with more than $32,290.

A total of 358 redemptions were undertaken on the cards, worth more than $11,960.

The holidays break saw the program hit top gear with a big spike in December, when 218 cards were loaded up with more than $13,760. The cards, which can be given as gifts, are currently accepted in 57 businesses across Murwillumbah.

With interest in the scheme coming from other areas of the Shire, expansion would see other Tweed businesses as beneficiaries and help them rebuild.

For locals, it means money spent locally stays local, with the cards able to be used to buy anything from food to building materials. The cards are valid for 3 years and can be loaded up at selected sites for amounts starting at $10 and up to $1,000.

Council invites any businesses wishing to be part of the Why Leave Town scheme expansion to register at www.whyleavetown.com/register

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