Business guide to Coronavirus

10 initiatives to pay it forward during COVID-19

It’s no secret that small businesses have taken a hit during COVID-19, with some research suggesting 60% of Australian businesses have been affected. 

On the flip side, it’s inspiring to see how businesses and innovative thinkers come together in a crisis to help those affected. Here, we take a look at some of the great initiatives that have emerged during COVID-19 and how they could help your small business.

1. Spend With Us 

After the triple-threat of drought, bushfires and coronavirus, small businesses in Australia’s rural and regional towns have been doing it tough for a while. Spend With Us is a great initiative for affected small businesses, providing a one-stop-shop for Australians to buy their products and wares via an easy-to-use online platform. It’s free to list your business, and as a Business Australia partner, you can also sign up for complimentary business advice offered to our members. 

2. KeepYourCafe

Love your local? Then pay it forward. The founders of GroupTogether launched the KeepYourCafe initiative to help local cafes and restaurants weather the storm of COVID-19. Businesses can create a page to share with their customers, who can buy a voucher to redeem after a week or when your business reopens. Win, win.

3. Spend With Them 

South Coast locals Turia Pitt and Grace McBride started an Instagram account in January to encourage customers to buy from bushfire-affected businesses. Now the account has another purpose: helping coronavirus-affected businesses who sell online or over the phone. They’ve partnered with Visa’s #WhereYouShopMatters campaign, and you can apply to be featured via the duo’s Instagram account

4. Back Your Bookshop 

Authors and bookshop owners are struggling with job losses, book tour cancellations and delayed book releases. For bookshop owners, the Instagram account Back Your Bookshop, and its accompanying hashtag #backyourbookshop, is offering a little reprieve. It’s a way for stores still offering online sales to get some extra promotion and, hopefully, some new customers. 

5. Small Business Relief Initiative

Intuit QuickBooks has teamed up with GoFundMe to support small businesses via the Small Business Relief Initiative – promising to donate up to $1 million through a fund and employee-directed contributions. You can organise your own GoFundMe to keep your business afloat or support an existing fundraiser.

6. Open For Business

This COVID-19-era business directory was started to help ‘give a voice’ to Aussie businesses that are still operating or have adapted their offering to suit current conditions. It’s free to list your business, easy to browse by suburb or product, and heavily reliant on word of mouth, so spread the word.

7. Love Your Bookshop 

Booksellers should also list their store on Love Your Bookshop, an online initiative launched by the Australian Booksellers Association to champion booksellers across the country. Sellers can add their store to the listings and customers can search for their local bookshop to check whether they’re offering online deliveries, book drops and drive-through pickups. Use the service, and the hashtag #loveyourbookshop, to spread the word even further.

8. Buy Aussie Now 

Australian brands are given a leg up on Buy Aussie Now, an Instagram account made purely to promote the best Aussie brands and Aussie-made products. Business owners need to fill out a quick Survey Monkey form to list their business, but the promotion is free.

9. HungryHungry 

HungryHungry are here to help! The team behind OrderMate launched HungryHungry for hospitality businesses still interested in offering pick-up, drive-up and contactless delivery services for hungry customers. For a small fee, you can feature your business and advertise your current delivery status, e.g. delivery, drive-up or pick-up.

10.  Buy From The Bush 

Buy From The Bush first launched in October 2019 to connect regional businesses with city customers and support drought-affected communities, and quickly amassed nearly 230,000 followers. The goal hasn’t changed during COVID-19 – rural businesses still capable of trading are invited to join the platform and continue using the hashtag #buyfromthebush. 

Hear from our members 

From a cinema that’s been in operation since the 1900s, to a national beer brand, our members know a thing or two about business. Hear about their journeys and challenges, and what their crucial piece of business advice is.