It's time to Think Local, Shop Local and do our bit to support Wagga businesses.
Wagga is a major regional centre located on the Murrumbidgee River and servicing a broader catchment of smaller regional towns and agricultural production services.
Surrounded by beautiful rolling countryside and with a dedicated and proactive community, the city prides itself on its residents looking after each other, congregating to celebrate its wins, and rallying around mates in times of need.
What doesn't often make headlines are the wonderful businesses in the city.
Wagga-owned businesses serve not only the city, but the broader Riverina region.
Where we live, shop and play is the foundation of our community and unique businesses are vital to the diverse character of the city.
You can get better service because local businesses tend to hire people with knowledge of the products they are selling and provide better customer care by giving each of them special attention.
A local business is also a local customer, being more likely to support others of its kind in the community, resulting in less travel and reduced air pollutants.
Local business owners live in the community they serve; this lessens the possibility of moving and increases their assets in the future of the community.
Local businesses create and provide jobs for people and are one of the largest employers nationwide.
Research indicates that entrepreneurs and experienced workers will more likely live and invest in communities that preserve the characteristics of locally owned businesses.
To buy what you want, not what someone wants you to buy, local businesses find a need and fill it. Product selection is based on what the community wants not a "big-box" national sales plan.
Customers have a more interesting array of products and it satisfies the unique needs of the neighbourhood
Community groups and clubs also enjoy great support from local businesses, on average at a higher rate than big businesses. They are more likely to give back to the community and encourage entrepreneurial growth.
In the end, local business strengthens the economic base of every community. A good deal of the dollars spent with local businesses is used to make purchases from other local entities - creating a domino effect that can preserve a neighbourhood even in an economic slowdown.
Read the Think Local, Shop Local feature online here.