With stage three restrictions planned for Macedon Ranges and regional Victoria, Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas says shopping local has never been more important.

Ms Thomas last week launched the Shop Local, Spend Local, Enjoy Local campaign, encouraging people in Riddells Creek, Romsey, Lancefield and across the rest of the Macedon Ranges to shop and spend with their local small businesses.

She said everyone could play a part in helping support small business that had been hit hard as a result of the pandemic – by shopping locally.

“Foodworks, IGA and the larger supermarkets, along with green grocers and local butchers have been doing a fantastic job, providing fresh produce to the Macedon Ranges community,” she said.

“From cafes, restaurants and takeaway, to retail clothing shops, pet stores, hardware, hairdressers, florists, optometrists and more – you can get everything you need right here in the Macedon Ranges”

Ms Thomas said lots of businesses had adapted the way they worked during the pandemic in order to keep the community safe – including adding takeaway, delivery and ‘click and collect’ options.

“People are invited to share their shop local experiences through social media, by snapping a photo of their favourite local café, restaurant, shop or local product, and uploading it to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #ShopLocalMacedonRanges,” she said.

“The community can also show their support by using the Shop, Spend, Enjoy Local Facebook profile picture frame, which can be found on Mary-Anne Thomas MP’s Facebook page.”

Ms Thomas said if people couldn’t find something in Riddells Creek, Romsey or Lancefield, instead of going to Sunbury or making a trip into Melbourne – residents were encouraged to take a drive to one of the surrounding Macedon Ranges towns, including Gisborne, Woodend or Kyneton, to make their purchase.

“While the rates of coronavirus remain relatively low in the regions, the risks of spread remains. Regional Victorians over the age of 18 are encouraged to use a face mask when they leave the house but cannot physically distance – including while shopping for essential supplies,” she said.

“I know that for many of our businesses, especially those that rely on visitors from Melbourne, have been hit hard by the coronavirus. That’s why it’s vital we come together, shop local, spend local and enjoy local.

“Our local small businesses have always been there when we’ve needed them – whether it be through sponsorship of our sports clubs or giving a helping hand to our community groups. Now is a critical time for us to return that support.”