How to buy local and support Brisbane’s small businesses

They know your name and order, employ you or your neighbours and add character to your suburb – and, right now, they’re doing it tough. We’re talking about your local cafe, brewer, baker, butcher, trader, grower and maker – all the small businesses who are at the heart of our neighbourhoods, making our local patch all the better for being there.   

It’s never been more important to buy local and make Brisbane small businesses feel loved. By supporting our local small business community, we can make sure Brisbane remains a great place to live, work and relax. 

Get groceries from a neighbourhood trader 

Local growers, makers and traders are stocked and ready to fill your fridge and pantry with fresh, delicious produce and homemade goodies. All you need to do is to think a little differently about where you stop on your grocery run and make the most out of locally grown seasonal produce. There are lots of benefits to buying local food. Here are our top tips:

  • Look out for local produce boxes
    Pre-order, pick up or have a local produce box delivered. Many businesses are teaming up and creating yummy grocery packs that not only taste great but make your life easier.
     
  • Find a local produce market
    Visit our What's On Brisbane calendar to find food markets in Council places and spaces, or search Google for your favourite Brisbane local markets to see when they're operating and what social distancing measures are in place.
     
  • Get creative in the kitchen
    Pull out those beloved (and perhaps forgotten) cookbooks and challenge yourself to cook a recipe you've been meaning to try. We've got a bunch of Love Food Hate Waste recipe ideas and cooking videos to inspire you.

Make a takeaway moment

Socialising might look a little different now with dining limits, but that doesn't mean it has to be any less exciting. Don't skip on a meal out if you can't make a booking — instead, opt for eating local via takeaway. Give the following a go:

  • Try fine dining at home
    This is perfect for celebrating a special occasion. Find a Brisbane restaurant to bring the fancy to you.
     
  • Explore the virtual Valley offering
    We've put together a list of restaurants doing takeaway in the Valley precinct, where many eateries have switched from late-night crowds to delivery and pick-up meals. To make it even easier, Brisbane-based app, Bopple, has rallied together with local businesses so you can order your favourite meals straight from your phone for delivery or pick up.
     
  • Don't forget the food trucks
    Food trucks are mobile and can be found all over the city. Check our the Brisbane food truck finder to see what local food trucks are operating near you, especially now picnic dining is back on the table.
     
  • Embrace virtual team takeaway
    Missing your work team and Friday lunches? Your regular lunch date can remain, even if you're working from home. Order in and have a video-call lunch break together. Your favourite cafes and restaurants are really missing big group orders right now!

Give a gift for later

Gift vouchers are a great go-to gift and the extra cash flow for local businesses can make a big difference right now. While stores are slowly opening back up, we understand shopping sprees aren't quite the same these days.

Feel organised for future gifts by getting started on Father's Day, birthday or Christmas shopping. You can support local businesses by buying gift vouchers for retail stores, restaurants and cafes, or future experiences like cooking or painting classes. Alternatively, invest in your future self, while supporting stores that may not be able to open or aren't getting their usual volume of sales. Think gift vouchers for hair salons, massages and future special outfits. 

Gift vouchers give recipients something to look forward to too!

Share business love virtually

Make a positive impact without spending a cent. When you engage positively with the social media page for a local business, you’re also spreading awareness among your own network, which helps support the small business community even more. 

  • Share, like or comment on posts by local small businesses. It's an easy way to show your appreciation and support.
  • Tag your friends in posts about products or services you think they might like or share a post from local business through your own news feed.
  • Leave positive reviews on pages you've had a good experience with.

Treat yourself while buying direct

Have you been eyeing off that boutique necklace? Are you in need of a new piece of art to complete your iso home makeover? Treat yourself by shopping from local retailers and makers, and get a unique item you can't get anywhere else.

Find local plant and garden shops (perfect for new lovers of indoor plants) to get your green fix. They are a great source of plant knowledge and often stock unique pots from local makers too.

Get unique artisan treats from shops that sell locally designed art, jewellery, clothes and homewares.

Buy a local subscription or membership

Your ongoing custom is a great way to show your commitment to local small businesses — and subscriptions and memberships are a sign of longer-term loyalty.

Your ticket to boredom-busting may be in the form of a subscription to a local magazine, podcast or online tutorials. Or you could invest in a fitness membership if you've exhausted your living room exercise regime and need some help to keep fitness-focused. Many gyms have taken their services online, offering digital packages for everything from interval training and high-energy workouts, to yoga, Pilates and meditation.

Show up for locals

We all need a hand sometimes and showing up for small buisness is a powerful way to show your support for the local community. 

  • Help with local deliveries
    With some members of our community unable to travel and collect essential items for themselves, there is always the opportunity to volunteer and support vulnerable residents.
     
  • Give the gift of your time
    Maybe you have skills that can help a local business out, whether it's social media, finance or general administration skills. Check in with a business that might be doing it tough and see if you can put your skills to good use.

What Council is doing

As well as providing resources and programs to support small business, Council is committed to supporting local suppliers, helping to increase their cash flow, investing in projects that give our city's economy a boost, and paving the road to recovery with our Economic Recovery Taskforce. 

From Tuesday 12 May to Friday 12 June we asked business owners and operators, via an online survey, how Council could help businesses get back on their feet. This survey is now closed.

Watch our video to get inspired to shop local

Related links

Date posted:
Last updated:23 June 2020
Topics: things to do