In one year a Facebook group has helped over 20 small businesses in the Parkes Shire and changed over 285,000 lives in rural Australia.
Buy From a Bush Business was created by Jenn Donovan a year ago with the online community growing to almost 300,000 with hundreds still joining every week.
“The page is a great idea to promote country businesses doing it tough with the drought, bushfires and now COVID,” said Glen Harbidge, who used the page to promote his photography business. “It has certainly helped us to get our business out there by way of post shares.”
Glen said he had posted about six times on the group and would make up to 15 sales each time and his post would be shared up to 12 times.
According to Jenn more than 20 businesses from Parkes and Peak Hill have made use of the page over the past year.
Another Parkes resident has described the business she had received from the
page as phenomenal.
During COVID online shopping increased markedly with many businesses in the group experiencing a vast rise in sales.
Jenn, a farmer’s wife and marketing thought leader from the Riverina, was driving home from a marketing tour in October last year when she came up with the idea of a Facebook group to support rural small business owners.
“Some people who posted didn’t even have a business yet, just a hobby, but soon found themselves with a community of brand new buyers, from all over the country, wanting their goods”.
Little did Jenn know she would also create connection: she connected people; she connected the city with the country; she created a community that, even if they couldn’t afford to spend money with businesses, they helped in other ways like sharing a post, liking a post or giving the business owner encouragement or a compliment.