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Buy Local. Buy Rural S4 - Episode 1
Episode 121st April 2021 • Social Lights • Kate vanderVoort
00:00:00 00:18:53

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In this episode of the Social Lights Podcast, podcast host and Social Mediology founder Kate vanderVoort chats with Sarah Britz, who’s an e-commerce specialist and founder of Spend With Us, an online initiative to support rural and regional small businesses impacted by fires, floods and COVID.

About Sarah

Sarah loves meeting new people, connecting and helping them to grow their businesses, especially using her skills and knowledge to help them get online, get through difficult times and make a difference.

She is a web designer and developer and has been building websites for about 20 years. Sarah decided during the 2020 bush fires to use her skills and knowledge for small businesses that were impacted at that time. She realised that rather than creating individual platforms for each business to get online, that a centralized market place would make the most impact. This is how the idea of Spend With Us started.

BIG IDEA 1

“How could we help rural and regional small businesses around Australia suffering from bushfires to COVID?” (06:21) 

At the start Sarah was posting to Facebook groups that she created a way to help small business that had been affected by the bush fires. It was this first step that allowed her to get in contact with many business owners that needed help.  The organisation really expanded with the help of Lauren Hateley and Jenn Donovan, each bringing their own unique skillsets to Spend With Us.

They built a platform for rural and regional small business that people can access across Australia and across the world. Something that would raise awareness of these businesses and people, along with all their incredible products. This could only happen through collaboration, and talking to people within these communities. In Spend With Us there’s a private Facebook sellers group, where they do webinars to help them to get better product listings, take better product photos, learn to market their products and give them tips and advice to help them survive and grow.

BIG IDEA 2

“Community is the heart our platform.” (13:32)

Sarah’s goal for her company is to create a massive community of sellers and buyers and everyone supporting each other. The businesses share their stories with each other and gain hope and inspiration.

Through social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, they aim to highlight the products through a program called ¨Meet the Maker¨. A newsletter helps promote what the sellers are advertising to any potential customer. On the website they also promote every week a different business, showing what they are selling and different campaigns, trying to raise awareness and to get as much exposure for the small businesses as possible.

BIG IDEA 3

“Be mindful where you spend your money” (15:18)

One thing Sarah would like people to do differently is to think about where you are spending your money and when you are buying something be mindful of the choice and choose to support a business where it makes a huge difference. When you buy from a small business seller that is in their Facebook group, then you're already supporting that person, you're making such a big difference in their life.

Sarah has been inspired by the corporates who have also come on board. They’ve sold many gift cards on their platform and several of big corporate companies purchased sitewide gift cards for their Christmas gifts, it was big businesses giving back to small businesses.

Episode Links

You can find Sarah Bitz, and more on Spend with us at:

·         https://www.facebook.com/spendwithusaustralia

·         https://www.instagram.com/spendwithusaustralia/

·         https://www.facebook.com/groups/buyfromthebush

·         https://www.spendwithus.com.au/

Keep listening to the upcoming episodes of podcasts by joining in Social Lights Podcast produced by Social Mediology.

You can connect with us on Facebook at @SocialLightsPodcast and find future episodes at socialmediology.com.au/sociallights.

Thanks for your time and stay inspired,

Kate vanderVoort

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