How you can support bushfire-affected businesses and towns
See a list of the bushfire-affected businesses that you can throw your support behind.
Even for businesses that have managed to avoid the complete devastation of the Australian bushfires, the tough times are far from over. With many local businesses reliant on tourist dollars to survive, what should be a bustling time of year has now turned into a major struggle.
To show your support for those impacted and help put money back into the pockets of communities who need it most, we've rounded up a list of affected local businesses that you can shop with.
From fashion retailers to winemakers, here are some of the businesses currently in need of support:
- Akwa Surf: With its home base of Milton all but deserted, fashion and surf retailer Akwa Surf is struggling through what should be its busiest time of year. If you're in need of some swimwear, surfwear or sneakers, be sure to check them out.
- Bare Body Beauty Co: Due to surrounding fires, the normally thriving Southern Highlands are suffering a huge loss of business. Hit up Bare Body Beauty Co's online store to shop a range of organic bath and beauty products.
- Bilpin Bush Honey: Located in the Blue Mountains, Bilpin Bush Honey is one of many businesses affected by reduced tourism. Visit its site to pick up a range of honey, walnuts, creamed cinnamon and honeycomb.
- Coyote Boutique: If you're looking to stock up your wardrobe, shop popular fashion brands like Assembly Label, MINKPINK, The Fifth Label and Le Specs through affected local fashion business Coyote Boutique.
- Cyclepath Bright: With the town of Bright surrounded by fires, all local trade has ceased. Help out business Cyclepath by paying for bike hire, which the company will then donate to someone in need.
- Delicious Vibrant Beauty: Switch out your beauty products for some organic alternatives and help owner Tracey keep her Delicious Vibrant Beauty business going.
- Earth.Air.Fire.Water Organics: Affected by the massive Green Wattle Creek fire, Buxton business Earth.Air.Fire.Water Organics has suffered a loss of business. Check out the range of organic locally grown teas, herbs and spices to give them a hand.
- Eye Appeal: Nab yourself a new pair of sunnies through Ulladulla store Eye Appeal to make up for all the summer trade the family-run business is currently missing out on.
- Gather + Harvest: Gather + Harvest works directly with women in Bali to turn used glass bottles into candle containers. The recent fires have now put sales at a standstill, affecting both the business and the Balinese women who rely on it. Shop this very worthy cause by picking up a candle, bath bomb, lip balm or soap.
- Golding Wines: The Golding family lost their entire vineyard in the Adelaide Hills bushfire just before Christmas. You can stock up on your favourite tipple on their site to help them start over.
- Guerrilla Roasters: With several of its stores located in fire-affected regions, Guerrilla Roasters has taken a financial dip. Put your caffeine addiction to good use and grab a bag of ethically sourced beans from its site.
- The Harbour Book Shop: If you're after some new summer reads, consider calling The Harbour Book Shop and placing an order over the phone. The store has been unable to open as usual due to the ongoing fire situation.
- Hinterland Honey: Family business Hinterland Honey has suffered significant fire damage and will take years to recuperate fully. Stock up on Australian honey and Manuka to help get them started on the road to recovery.
- The Hub Home Trader: As a store that relies on summer trade to get by, Bega homes store The Hub Home Trader is struggling to make ends meet. Help keep it afloat by checking out the range of homewares, clothing, accessories and more.
- Jipsi Cartel: Boho fashion label Jipsi Cartel produces beautiful designs that are ethically produced in Indonesia. You can shop the brand worldwide and pay with Afterpay, making it easy to shop a piece or two in support.
- Just Beautiful Cosmetics Store: Port Macquarie businesses such as Just Beautiful have been severely affected by the fires. Grab a range of organic and cruelty-free cosmetics and skincare for the beauty lover in your life and help make a difference.
- Kangaroo Island Spirits: Due to the massive fires on Kangaroo Island, craft distillery Kangaroo Island Spirits has been unable to operate its facilities. Keep them going with a purchase from their range of gin, vodka and liqueurs.
- The Kathleen Creations: Currently stuck in Manyana without power or phone service, you can help Lauren and her daughter by shopping her range of milestone and affirmation cards, prints and designs.
- Leroy Mac Designs: Bec and her family are merino sheep farmers who lost 95% of their main farm and 300 sheep to the bushfires. Get them back on their feet with the purchase of a scarf, blanket or baby beanie.
- Little Bobbin: With her dairy farm burnt and her home unsafe, Emma and her three children have been forced to evacuate. To help her family, you can check out her range of little kids clothing and organic cotton tees.
- Maple Ridge Goat Soap: After years of suffering through drought, Meagan and her family had to shut down their farm and sell off most of their goats. She has continued to make ends meet by making goat's milk soap, but now the fires have caused all local markets to be cancelled, giving her no place to sell her goods. Shop her wares to help keep her going.
- Melba's Chocolates: Narrowly escaping being burnt to the ground, Melba's Chocolate Factory is still feeling the after affects of the fires. Stock up on bags of speciality chocolates for family and friends and help the business get back on its feet.
- Milton Mushrooms: Gourmet mushroom grower Marita had much of her property burnt to the ground during the two fires that ravaged Milton. To help her out, you can purchase a range of greeting cards, stickers, tote bags and powders.
- New Era Vineyard: The New Era Vineyard suffered total devastation in the Cudlee Creek fire. Help them through the long road ahead by shopping a range of crafted wines from the website.
- Off Shore Surf: Without the usual thriving summer trade, Off Shore Surf is off to a tough start for the year. Lend them a hand by purchasing a gift voucher through their site or, better yet, purchasing a voucher to be donated to local families in need.
- OrganiQ: With an estimated one third of Kangaroo Island burnt and the fire danger ongoing, you can help out local business OrganiQ by shopping a range of organic skincare.
- Peregrine Store: Due to the Cudlee Creek fire, Jess and her family suffered the loss of their dog and endured damage to their home. Send her a DM to shop a beautiful range of Australian made skincare, candles, toys, kitchen utensils, homewares and more.
- Red Cedar: Shop a beautiful selection of clothing, accessories, furniture and more from affected business Red Cedar. The company has a strong focus on sustainability, meaning that you can feel doubly good about your purchases.
- Ringer Reef Winery: Boutique winery Ringer Reef is struggling due to severely reduced tourism to the town of Porepunkah. Hit up its online store and grab yourself a bottle or three.
- Seachange Originals: With ongoing fire threats in Bega, the town's economy is being greatly impacted. Support local artist KJ by purchasing a range of handcrafted art inspired by the Australian coast.
- Spaces2538: Run by Milton-based mum and daughter duo Vic and Gab, Spaces2538 sells a range of stylish homewares and gifts. Be sure to check out the artwork and the best-selling Beach People Roundie towels.
- Stony Creek Farm Distillery: Award-winning gin distillery Stony Creek Farm has been unable to do business as usual due to surrounding fires. Pick up a bottle of gin or a voucher for Gin School on their site.
- T-Guitars: Andy and his expectant wife Ellie lost their home to the fires in Bundanoon. Help them start over with a purchase from their guitar shop.
- Twisted Willow Homestore: Impacted by power outages and contaminated water supplies, local businesses in Tumbarumba are struggling. Support Kaz's business Twisted Willow Homestore by shopping a range of fashion, homewares, accessories and artwork.
- Vinteloper: If you're looking to stock up your wine selection, check out Adelaide Hills winemakers Vinteloper. The winery was destroyed in the South Australian bushfires and will take an estimated seven years to regrow what was lost.
- White Earth: In the all but deserted coastal town of Huskisson, Liz and her family are trying to keep their heads above water. Browse her range of cruelty-free skincare and makeup or stock up on essential oils and candles.
- Wild Rye's Baking Co: Wild Rye's bakeries in Pambula have been seriously affected by the fires. Nab yourself one of their blends made from beans sourced from small growers and co-ops around the world.
- WM Meats: Hit by both droughts and fires, WM Meats has had a tough time recently. However, the business is still selling meat directly from its farm to customers in Brisbane and New South Wales.
We'll be updating this list as we discover more businesses in need of a helping hand, so be sure to check back next time you're shopping online. You can also follow Instagram account spendwiththem for further updates.
It is worth remembering that the above list only represents a very small number of affected businesses and that many more will need assistance over the coming months. Once it is again safe to enter bushfire affected areas, you can help communities further by staying in local accomodation, eating at cafes and shopping from local stores.
If you're looking to shop items not on this list, you can also check out the Australian stores that are donating profits to the bushfire appeal or see our guide on other ways to help those affected by the bushfires.
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Image: Instagram user vinteloper