With the coronavirus impacting small business owners now industry leaders such as Destination Wollongong general manager Mark Sleigh are encouraging locals to shop locally whenever they can.
Mr Sleigh said the spread of COVID-19 is already placing many businesses in survival mode and any way the community can support them right now is going to be greatly appreciated.
He said support could not only help businesses survive but save local jobs.
"The best thing we can do as a community at this point in time is spend locally whenever we can and support those who support us," Mr Sleigh said.
As an industry body for the tourism sector Mr Sleigh said Destination Wollongong has made a strategic decision to exclusively use its social media channels in the coming months to encourage locals to support small business.
He said Destination Wollongong's social media messaging will go to a wide demographic, including locals and many people from outside the area.
And he is hopeful the response to that message will provide crucial support for businesses in Wollongong and the Illawarra and save many jobs.
"I realise this isn't a silver bullet solution," he said.
"But Wollongong has a great reputation for supporting its own and I am sure this situation will be no different," he said.
Mr Sleigh said in true Wollongong spirit it was a great time to rally together and support each other.
"Whether it is a meal out, a trip to a comedy show or buying product from local wineries and breweries, we all spend money which could be better spent in the local economy," he said.
"We have an amazing local industry which has supported each other to achieve fantastic results over the last ten years.
"I know it is tough, but you are not alone.
"The the best thing we can do is support each other and work to get through this unprecedented disaster together".
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