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July 21, 2022

The domino effect of shopping locally

Throughout COVID and its restrictions, the impact of shopping locally has been felt more than ever. There are positive topple-on effects that come from doing so, and a painful standstill that comes from not.

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  • This article was produced in collaboration with the Government of South Australia.
  • Image 1: Marino Meat & Food Store
  • Image 2: Perryman’s Bakery

Every time a consumer decides where to spend their money, they set in motion a domino effect.

It’s a phenomenon known all too well by Katrina Marino of Marino Meat & Food Store.

“When people decide to buy from us, that means that we are able to pay our staff,” says Katrina, who co-owns the store with her husband Ricardo Marino.

“They’re then able to support their families who live in our city and state.

“We’re able to buy from local suppliers and keep those companies in business, which keeps those staff employed too.”

Marino Meat & Food Store is a long-term and much-loved resident of the Adelaide Central Market. As the business also functions as a wholesaler, shopping there supports local hospitality suppliers, too.

“You know your favourite pub and your favourite shops that you like to go eat at? They are reliant on us remaining open,” Katrina says.

“If you’re buying from us, we are able to stay open – we’re able to keep supplying those restaurants and businesses in the city.

“It is just that trickle-on effect.”

With no foot traffic and their usual city clientele shifting to work from home, combined with shoppers’ fear of heading out, the business suffered.

“We definitely felt the effects of that,” Katrina says.

“The wholesale side was shaken up, too, through the domino effect of restaurants being quiet or sometimes closed and not ordering from us.”

Katrina says since the easing of restrictions things are still not quite as they used to be pre-pandemic; however, they’re definitely on the right track thanks to the support of locals.

“Even in the last few months there’s been a big increase in the amount of foot traffic we’ve had through the store,” she says.

“That speaks volumes for us.”


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Over in North Adelaide, the support of locals is what kept Perryman’s Bakery trading as strong as ever through COVID restrictions.

“We have been quite lucky because we always had a business that was majority takeaway,” co-owner Kylie Schmidt says.

“Back in 2020, when we were obviously going through changes and restrictions had come into place, we were very overwhelmed by the support of locals.

“Everyone was working from home and people would make sure that they came and got a coffee and bread from us every day.

“We were able to have conversations with a number of customers who said they were doing that intentionally and wanted to support small and local businesses in the area – it was really appreciated and noticed.”

Kylie says she derived the same net positive sequence from local shopping as experienced by Marino Meat & Food Store.

“Shopping locally helps the job market, and our ability to recruit supports employment across Adelaide,” Katrina says.

“Even though we are a small business we do employ people,— which is a really important thing.

“Also, that variety that small business brings is also very important. If you don’t have your local stores, and local grocer and things like that, you don’t get that variety of service or unique product.

“That support of the local business has a domino effect.”

While COVID restrictions proved how much shopping locally can make a difference, it has also proved how damaging an interruption in this chain of events can be.

It’s why the Government of South Australia has recently launched a Support Small Business campaign to highlight just how these businesses are critical contributors to the state’s economy and employment growth.

The initial decision on choosing where to shop is not just about the travel time from your house, but the survival of small businesses across the state.

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