Sup­port for bush busi­nesses thrives

Dubbo Photo News - - News - By LY­DIA PEDRANA

MORE than 100 city folk packed in to more than 30 cars will con­voy from Syd­ney to re­gional NSW to do their Christ­mas shop­ping next month.

The DIJONES Drought Drive, an ini­tia­tive cre­ated by the city-based real es­tate agency, is a three­day event which aims to sup­port drought-af­fected busi­nesses and com­mu­ni­ties by pump­ing cash into the re­gional econ­omy.

DIJONES CEO Robb Ward said the idea stemmed from some of his staff mem­bers who grew up in the cen­tral west re­gion and sug­gested the com­pany do some­thing to give back.

“What we are say­ing to peo­ple is this Christ­mas sea­son is ‘let’s re­di­rect and in­ject our re­sources and our funds into ar­eas that need it the most’,” Mr Ward told

“In­stead of send­ing ham­pers pur­chased from Pitt Street in Syd­ney, we de­cided to con­voy our team through re­gional NSW to shop, eat and spend lo­cally in busi­nesses that are strug­gling in the midst of the drought.”

Leav­ing from Syd­ney on Sun­day, De­cem­ber 8, the con­voy will be split into two groups and travel as far west as Walgett be­fore head­ing back to the big smoke the fol­low­ing Tues­day.

Other towns on the itin­er­ary in­clude Dubbo, Wellington, Coon­am­ble, Gil­gan­dra, War­ren, Trangie and Nar­romine.

Mr Ward said he al­ready has his own list for the re­gional shop­ping spree sorted.

“I have three boys and they are into their sports, so I’ll be look­ing for lots of sports equip­ment that I can bring back for their Christ­mas pre­sents,” he said.

“But even just small things like wrap­ping pa­per and cards, even if peo­ple are buy­ing al­co­holic gifts that you might give out, there’s no rea­son why you can’t buy from the re­gional towns and have it de­liv­ered to your home.”

The DIJONES Drought Drive comes as the Buy from the Bush so­cial me­dia cam­paign con­tin­ues to gain trac­tion around the coun­try.

Start­ing out as an In­sta­gram page pro­fil­ing lo­cal bou­tiques and wares from small bush com­mu­ni­ties, the ac­count ac­cu­mu­lated over 100,000 fol­low­ers in just four weeks.

Sophia Ach­e­son, the co-founder of Klou Bou­tique in Mac­quarie Street, said the Buy from the Bush cam­paign came at the right time.

“We have def­i­nitely felt sup­port off the back of the Buy from the

The DIJONES Drought Drive will see staff from the Syd­ney real es­tate agency head­ing to the bush to do their Christ­mas shop­ping.

Bush cam­paign, it’s re­ally opened us up and we have gained a bit more ex­po­sure to what we nor­mally would through new fol­low­ers on In­sta­gram and Face­book,” she said.

“Re­tail has been strug­gling for quite a while and the drought cer­tainly has added to that.

“As a re­sult, our foot traf­fic from lo­cals just hasn’t been there, but our on­line sales have def­i­nitely in­creased, and we are prob­a­bly do­ing a bit more on­line that what we are phys­i­cally in store at the mo­ment.”

On top of the ex­cur­sion, which any­one can join, DIJONES has this week re­leased an e-cat­a­logue featuring al­most 200 re­gional busi­nesses from 43 re­gional towns. The cat­a­logue fea­tures ru­ral bou­tiques, artists, ac­com­mo­da­tion, mar­kets and cafes from Dubbo and sur­round­ing towns.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

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