Love Merri-bek? Buy local! (media release)

21 August 2020

If you ‘Love Merri-bek, Buy Local’. That’s the simple message in Council’s new campaign to encourage the community to support local goods and services during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The campaign comes after Council invited 8,000 Merri-bek business owners to complete a survey in April to find out what challenges they were facing and what support would be valuable.

More than 400 business owners responded, with 95 percent saying they had been negatively impacted by the pandemic and 98 percent expecting those impacts to extend into the future.

1 in 4 businesses surveyed had to close temporarily as a result of COVID-19, and 1 in 3 anticipated being unable to operate temporarily as the year progresses.

Overwhelmingly, businesses ranked a ‘buy local campaign’ as their top choice for support from Council.

Moreland Mayor Cr Lambros Tapinos said Council acted quickly at the beginning of the pandemic to put relief measures in place for businesses and was now working on ways to support businesses to recover and rebuild.

“In April, we moved to provide immediate relief to businesses by waiving food registration renewal fees, refunding street trading permits and providing rent relief to businesses in council buildings,” said Cr Tapinos.

“Now, as the State Government eases restrictions, we are working on ways to support local businesses as they reopen and the first step in this process is launching ‘Love Merri-bek, Buy Local’.”

“Visit your favourite retailers, purchase something and take a moment to say hello. Your patronage might be the key to a business keeping their doors open.

“I really encourage the community to embrace Love Merri-bek Buy Local and help our businesses bounce back.”

Love Merri-bek Buy Local will include posters, footpath decals, shopfront signage and letterbox drops throughout Merri-bek and video profiles of local businesses on Council’s social media channels.

The Merri-bek community can also play a part in Love Merri-bek, Buy Local by sharing their favourite local businesses and using the hashtag #buylocal.

You can now also visit  - a brand new digital community dedicated to helping and supporting your favourite local Merri-bek businesses.