The Buy From the Bush campaign has now helped deliver $5 million in extra revenue to small businesses around Australia, with a recently commissioned report stating that some saw their revenue jump by 300%.
Launched in October of 2019, the campaign was aimed at showcasing products and services to encourage interstate tourism to support small, family-owned businesses in regional locations that were suffering a particularly bad period of drought.
The social media accounts of the campaign received 50,000 followers in just over a week, and its creator, Grace Brennan is now responsible for organising one of the most impactful SME-support campaigns in Australian history.
Nine months after its creation, Buy From the Bush commissioned a report to track its impact. A post from the campaign says that “we have seen this with our own eyes in the communities surrounding us. We have heard the stories and watched the growth. But now we have the data that helps us tell this story.”
In total, Buy From the Bush says it has helped bring in $5 million in revenue for regional small businesses, and studied the impact the campaign had on 275 small businesses that were featured in the first four months.
The report states that on average, small businesses saw their revenue boost by 300%.
It also stated that 20% of small businesses included in the program were able to add new employees to their books, while 38% shipped products to another state for the first time in their operations.
A further 19% recorded international sales for the first time.
80% of the businesses featured in the campaign were based in NSW, while 15% were in QLD, 3% in Victoria and 2% in South Australia.
Organisers of the Buy From Bush campaign say that 60% of the revenue created was thanks to nano-businesses, classified as a business with turnover of less than $5,000 per month. The report states that on average, these nano-businesses recorded a 750% increase in revenue.
A number of small business operators said that with the campaign taking care of significant pressure on them, they were able to invest time into learning new skills, predominantly in marketing or their IT skills.
Lucy Moss, founder of Mink and Me based in Coonamble, NSW told Smart Company that “it happened at the most ideal time to make the biggest impact.”
“It was basically a life-changing experience. Having that exposure to that increased customer base in the last eight to nine months, because of Buy From the Bush, has basically saved us,” she said. “It’s such a simple concept and simple initiative, but so worthwhile,” Moss added.
Lucy Moss was one of the hundreds of female-owned small businesses that were featured in the campaign, with Buy From the Bush stating that 97% of the businesses featured were run by women. That is, in comparison to the fact that just 34% of Australian small businesses are operated by women.
“Women out here, a lot of them are looking for a little side hustle,” Moss explained, “something to supplement a farm income,” she added. Many of these farming incomes were dramatically reduced as a result of historic droughts recorded in rural NSW in the tail end of 2019, compounded by the bushfires.
The report also noted that 90% of the small business owners that were featured in the campaign reported significantly greater quality of life and less stress as a result of new orders and relieved financial pressure.
Of those small business operators, 23% have said they’ve signed up for community organisations to help their regional town, and 21% have signed up for volunteering programs.