11 August 2020

Choose local and help us all to recover and rebuild post-COVID-19

| Dominic Giannini
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Michael Anderson from Brindabella Hills

Michael Anderson from Brindabella Hills says now more than ever we need to support the local economy. Photo: Rohan Thomas.

It has been a tough year for Canberrans, and even tougher for some of the region’s most well-known businesses. No-one knows this better than Michael Anderson from the Brindabella Hills Winery.

He owns one of the businesses set to benefit from Choose Local, a major new ACT government campaign encouraging us all to lend a hand helping out the local economy.

After a summer of bushfire smoke and hail damage that wiped out the vineyard’s entire year’s fruit production, COVID-19 looked like the final nail in the coffin for Brindabella, until the community stepped in.

“It has been nice to see people coming out and wanting to spend their money here, so that’s been great,” the owner of the vineyard, Mr Anderson said.

“We are encouraging people to buy local and if they can buy from cellar doors, that would help so much.”

The winery has remained open throughout the pandemic, and staff have banded together to complete smaller renovations around the place in preparation for new customers as restrictions continue to ease.

And that hasn’t gone unnoticed by Canberrans and locals alike. The vineyard has started to book out and wedding inquiries are beginning to come through again as life begins to return to normal in the region.

“We are getting a lot of inquiries for weddings so we have done some really big grass turf areas out the back that look over the Brindabellas and the Murrumbidgee River,” Mr Anderson said.

“Everyone has stuck together and I am hoping next year the 2021 vintage will be great for the Canberra region and we will be really able to flood the market again with all that good produce that the Canberra wine region makes.”

Brindabella Hills

Strong community support is helping Brindabella Hills to come back from COVID-19. Photo: Rohan Thomas.

The vineyard is part of the ACT Government’s new Choose Local campaign which aims to showcase the capital region’s best local businesses now that lockdown restrictions have eased further.

The message is that Canberrans should choose local, eat local, shop local and style local. Every decision we make on where to spend our money has the potential to help Canberra recover from the COVID-19, and the emphasis is strongly on choosing local to support each other.

South-siders are being encouraged to travel north, and north-siders to go south as the campaign encourages residents to give new businesses a try, as well as visiting local attractions and perhaps even engaging in a ‘staycation’ over the weekend at one of Canberra’s hotels to treat yourself or a partner.

The campaign is centred around a new television commercial which demonstrates how buying local benefits the broader Canberra community.

Produced locally by Canberra company Good Shout, the campaign features the likes of Canberra’s iconic Brodburger and The Beautique by Jessica Peris.

You can also link up directly with local Canberra businesses that have been directly impacted by COVID-19 through Brand Canberra’s social media channels and make a positive choice to spend where your money will make a difference.

The Choose Local advertising campaign started rolling out across Canberra radio, television, digital, print and social media from Sunday, 14 June.

For more information visit Choose Local. You can also share your support for local businesses on social media via #CBRtogether.

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