Buy Local

In last week’s eNewsletter we looked at Supporting Local as part of our mantra of: Buy Local, Eat Local, Stay Local and Support Local.

This week we turn our attention to Buy Local.

Recently The Examiner launched their Local. Strong. campaign, aimed at encouraging residents to support Northern Tasmanian businesses and nearby producers and manufacturers. In last Friday’s editorial, it was highlighted that spending money in Northern Tasmania has significant benefits for the state economy. The editorial went on to say that “Buying local, not only at Christmas, is the best form of stimulus so it is important we all think about what we are buying and where the goods are made and brought.” 

This is a message, not just for residents but for businesses, organisations and government as well. It’s important we ask ourselves some serious questions:

  • If you’re sitting at your desk as you read this, take a look at the items surrounding you. By purchasing your stationery, IT equipment, even that box of tissues next to the phone, are you supporting an American owned company, a conglomerate with interests in hardware, groceries, and a huge chain of stores where almost all the products are manufactured overseas or the local family business that has its heart and soul right here in the community?
  • If you still use business cards, letterhead or pre-printed stationery, when it’s time to order, do you go to a certain company that’s American owned but Irish-domiciled? Or the local business that’s been employing Launcestonians for almost a century and supports local community organisations regularly?
  • When it’s time to reward staff or thank clients, is it a bulk order of gift cards from that same conglomerate that has interests in hardware, groceries etc or do you purchase gifts or gift vouchers from local retailers, restaurants and cafes?

Now, more than ever, it’s important that we Buy Local and if we’re asking our customers to Shop Locally, we must lead by example.


Support Local

In our weekly eNewsletter dated the 21st of October, we encouraged members to embrace a new mantra for modern times: Buy Local, Eat Local, Stay Local, Event Local and Support Local.

Today we’d like to focus on Support Local.

With one week and one month until Christmas (gasp!) our calendars are filling up, our ‘to do’ lists are getting longer and we’re all looking forward to a festive break. During this busy time it can be easy to overlook the less fortunate in our community. Thankfully we have some wonderful organisations in our community and amongst our membership that are there to assist the vulnerable people in our community.

Would you or your business like to support local at this time of year? There are a number of ways we can suggest:

  • St. Vincent de Paul Society are running their annual Christmas Appeal, where for as little as $40 you can help deliver hope and the Christmas Spirit in the form of nourishing meals, hot drinks and snacks via their Soup Vans.
  • City Mission are also running their annual Christmas Appeal, where your donation will help provide meals, grocery supplies, food vouchers, clothing and household goods to those in need. It also assists with purchasing Christmas gifts for families.
  • The Examiner has launched their 113th Empty Stocking Appeal to raise funds for those in need via their charity partners – the Benevolent Society, the Salvation Army, City Mission and St Vincent de Paul. All funds raised are passed on to these organisations and as it says in the launch article; …every cent makes a difference to someone’s life. It can be the difference between a smile or a tear for someone this December.
  • The Launceston City Community Christmas, a city-wide Christmas lunch event hosted by a number of community organisations in partnership with the City of Launceston are seeking donations and volunteers. The Launceston City Community Christmas provides families and individuals with the opportunity to connect, provide encouragement and build community at Christmas. Last year saw approximately 250 seats filled with people who may have had a much lonelier Christmas.
  • Another opportunity to support local, that’s very close to our hearts, would be to support the David Peach Fund. The David Peach Fund is part of the Men’s Table charity, a charity that creates a unique environment for men to share openly about their lives, their challenges, their highs and lows with a group of men who they learn to trust and accept.

Please consider supporting local this festive season.


From Paddock to Plate… to the World!

It’s official. After a mammoth effort by Launceston Gastronomy and the Creative Cities Steering Group, Launceston has successfully bid to be designated a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy. Launceston will be one of 49 cities joining the global network. This is a pivotal moment for Launceston and a significant step up to the plate as one of the great regional cities of the world!

In the official media release issued by Launceston Gastronomy yesterday, Mayor Albert van Zetten said the project would cement Launceston’s identity as an internationally recognised region for food and beverage production. “The UNESCO brand is recognised worldwide and is a marker of the very highest quality,” Mayor van Zetten said.

Over many years, Northern Tasmanian has consistently demonstrated expertise in the development of agriculture, food processing, wine and beverage production, tourism and agritourism. Now that we have been recognised and listed as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, it will contribute positively to our regional economy and create new jobs in food-related industries and activities over the coming years. In addition, it formalises Launceston’s identity as one of the world’s great regional food cities.

The media release also stated that The City of Launceston will contribute $25,000 towards the implementation of Creative Cities related projects. Six other Northern councils have also collectively committed more than $28,000, including Break O’Day, Dorset, George Town, Meander Valley, Northern Midlands and West Tamar.

The Chamber is and has been a strong supporter of the UNESCO Creative Cities bid for a number of reasons:

  • It helps connect Northern Tasmania to the world via food.
  • It places Launceston as one of the great regional food cities of the world.
  • It provides a platform for food sustainability in a mixed agricultural and urban context.
  • It creates an interplay between local agriculture in our Tamar Valley backyard; Agriscience that combines the best of agriculture teamed up with start-up and established technologists, hospitality that thrives with the abundance of local produce and destination tourism that underpins a vibrant visitor economy – all hallmarks of a growing and thriving city.

Launceston Gastronomy Chair (and Chamber President), Andrew Pitt, said of the announcement; City of Gastronomy status will become what Launceston and Northern Tasmania is recognised for nationally and globally. For some time, we have been lacking a cohesive, accessible and intuitive identity for our city. Now we have one. The activities and projects that underpin the bid will de-silo our food system from paddock to plate, adding value, providing jobs and careers, improving social outcomes, and helping to implement the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. It’s all about local action with global collaboration.

We at the Chamber wish to congratulate Launceston Gastronomy and the Creative Cities Steering Group and we can’t wait to see what happens next. Depending on when you’re reading this, please raise your glass (or other drinking vessel) and join us as we toast Launceston, international city of Gastronomy!


Under Attack!

Yesterday at our October Business Breakfast with Project Lab, if any of our attendees were a little drowsy at its commencement, they were quickly roused, and not by the coffee! The grim reality is that cyber-crime is a huge risk to businesses, organisations and homes worldwide and Australia is not immune – in fact, we’re a prime target.

If you couldn’t make it to yesterday’s breakfast, here are a few key facts you should know:

  • If we measure cyber-crime as a country, it can be considered as the world’s third-largest economy after USA and China. (This is even larger than the damage caused annually because of natural disasters, and even more profitable than the combined trade of illegal drugs globally).
  • A 2020 Global Attitude survey found Australia is a top target for cyber-attacks, with 67% of respondents reporting a ransomware attack, coming in second behind India from the 12 countries surveyed (Australia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Middle East, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, U.K. and U.S).
  • In 2020/2021 Australians reported losing over $33 billion due to cyber-crime with 1 in 3 adults affected.
  • $29 Billion is the estimated cost of cyber-crime to Australian businesses last year. Medium sized businesses were the most affected.
  • Almost 90% of small businesses think they are safe because they have antivirus software. This is a big mistake! 43% of attacks were targeted at small business, but only 14% were prepared for defence.
  • A cyber-attack occurs in Australia every 8 minutes.
  • Phishing attacks in Australia increased by 75% from 2019. Worldwide COVID related phishing increased by 600%. (Phishing is where bad guys pose as a trustworthy organisation or person, using online communication to send dodgy links or attachments to access and steal people’s info for financial gain).
  • On average, it takes a business 51 days to resolve a ransomware attack.
  • 90% of cyber-attacks are due to human error.

Have you considered the consequences of a cyber-attack on your business?

  • The financial losses?
  • Having to close and stand staff down while the issue is corrected?
  • Having to replace equipment?
  • Customer/Client loss?
  • Compromised customer/client data
  • Lost time from re-entering data/recreating work?

This is a serious risk for your business – no matter what size or industry you’re in. A Café or Retailer’s Point of Sale can be attacked right through to systems in large corporate environments.

So, what can businesses/organisations do?

Gold Chamber Member, The Project Lab, are currently running the CyberUP program. The Tassie CyberUP team are funded by AusIndustry to help our SMB’s develop a Cyber Risk Plan for their business at no cost. 

You can book in for a free 2-hour session online, or a team member will come to you. 

CyberUP are also running free cyber-crime awareness workshops online and around the state. They can even visit your business for an in-house session. 

Not-for-profits are also eligible for help under this program. 

For more details on the CyberUP program, please visit:


A New Mantra for Modern Times

In a March 2020 Facebook post, we shared the image below with these words:

Keep Calm and Spend Local

In 1939 during the toughest of times, the British government produced a poster to motivate the public. The message was clear; Keep Calm and Carry On. It’s now 2020 and right here in Launceston we’re facing our own tough times. So, with some help from our friends at Think Big Printing and Cityprom we have a message for anyone who isn’t self-isolating. Keep Calm and Spend Local – whether you’re purchasing for yourself or your business, the local choice is the best.

With the sad announcement that the Festivale Organising Committee has been forced to cancel next year’s event (a decision that we, the Chamber, appreciate must have been incredibly difficult), it’s another reminder that COVID-19 is still affecting our events calendar, businesses of all sizes from any sector and our daily lives. With this in mind, we encourage you to:

  • Buy Local
    • With Christmas just around the corner, summer holidays and a new calendar year, there will be a great number of opportunities to buy local.
    • Christmas Gifts (and staff appreciation gifts) from local retailers and Gift Vouchers from local stores, cafes and entertainment venues give the gift twice. Buy local.
    • Need new office stationery for the new year? Buy local.
    • Need some new technology for the office? Connect with a local.
    • Business cards need an update? Have them designed locally and think “local print” instead of online print.  
  • Eat Local
    • Support our local cafes, bars and restaurants.
    • Remember! Life’s too short for instant coffee.
    • Need a break from cooking? A local venue will provide a much better dining experience than many of the national fast-food chains (the burgers aren’t necessarily better…)
  • Stay Local
    • Need some time for yourself? Want to really hit the town and not worry about getting home? Why not treat yourself to an overnight stay in one of our many wonderful accommodation providers?
  • Event Local
    • Support as many local events as you can, for example North food festival is on at the moment in venues in and around central Launceston and the Chamber has a number of events planned for the remainder of 2021.
  • Support Local
    • Don’t forget Christmas is a difficult time, particularly for those in need. If you’re in the position to, please support one of our local charitable organisations.

In 2020 we all saw how well Launceston supported each other by Keeping Calm and Spending Local, with 2021 coming to a close it’s so important we see that community spirit once again. So, remember the mantra, Buy Local, Eat Local, Stay Local, Event Local and Support Local.


States race ahead of Tasmania…

In yesterday’s Examiner there is an excellent editorial with the headline Countries race ahead of Australia. This headline dragged me in, and I was soon reading about the mixed-messages we as a nation are receiving about COVID-19 vaccinations. The headline though, got me thinking, if we consider a different topic, the headline could easily be changed to States race ahead of Tasmania. The topic I have in mind? Start-Ups and Scale-Ups.  

Northern Tasmania offers the Start-Up and Scale-Up business communities a number of benefits, whether it be the affordable cost of living (as Start-ups put everything into their business), reliable and fast internet (especially if you’re with Gold Chamber Member Launtel) access or the excellent facilities for open-plan working at Enterprize. However, we also let our Start-Ups and Scale-Ups down on several fronts, particularly:

  • Facilities and co-working space when privacy is required.
  • Access to mentors and venture-capitalists.
  • Access to a Start-Up Eco-system
  • Access to a Chief Entrepreneur.

Queensland and South Australia both have an Office of the Chief Entrepreneur (Queensland are currently recruiting a new Chief Entrepreneur), and both are enjoying the immense benefits of supporting the Start-Up, Scale-Up and Entrepreneurial Communities. The Office of the Chief Entrepreneur in Queensland has developed a Precinct which brings together start-ups, incubators, investors, and mentors under one roof which also accommodates a 250-seat stadium which allows entrepreneurs and start-ups to host events. Can you imagine the economic benefits a development like this could bring to Tasmania? Launceston is the perfect place for it!

The Office of the Chief Entrepreneur in South Australia stimulates the entrepreneurial eco-system from school student to start-up to those seeking a new business. In February when Amazon announced it will be expanding its presence in South Australia, South Australian Premier Stephen Paterson MP, said “Not only will Amazon create more jobs for South Australians, the company will grow its innovation programs to support local companies, from start-ups to bigger businesses… The decision by Amazon to invest here is proof that South Australia is a major drawcard to international companies across high-tech and high-growth sectors…”

These states are leading the way, but Tasmania should not be last. We think its time for a Tasmanian Chief Entrepreneur. With the State Election behind us, now is the time. But let’s not just ‘keep up’, its time we got ahead!

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