Have you ever thought of the impact your dollar could have for the local coffee shop on the corner, compared to the McDonald's a few doors down?
Megan Humble, founder of Shop Local 6210 and Mandurah local, has contemplated this question for much of her life. As a small business owner for many years, Ms Humble is now shining a light on the impact that dollar and where someone chooses to spend it, can have for local businesses in Mandurah.
"I came out of uni and wanted to start my own business. My family has always been in small business so I've always been exposed to the behind the scenes.
"My dad opened a vacuum shop in Mandurah, he had no idea about vacuums and taught himself everything. I remember sitting in his shop for days with nobody coming in. Years after opening, it started to grow, he was employing more staff and had four shops at one point.
"After 30 years in business, the rug was ripped out from under him. When the Mandurah Forum was being redeveloped, they said he had to get out," Ms Humble said, adding that his last day was only this past week.
Witnessing the difficulties small business owners experience, from competing with franchises, to increasing rent, to online retailers, Ms Humble knew she wanted to do something about it.
"I felt powerless to what was happening, I needed to start the conversation. How do we collectively make change to how we spend our money?" Ms Humble asked.
I felt powerless to what was happening, I needed to start the conversation. How do we collectively make change to how we spend our money?- Megan Humble
Ms Humble began Shop Local 6210, a website, Facebook and Instagram page dedicated to promoting local businesses.
"I started Shop Local because I realised we were stronger as a collective. Vote with your dollar if you want to enjoy our community and diversity. Spending in the community means most of it stays in the community," Ms Humble said.
So, how does that dollar impact the local cafe compared to a fast food chain?
It's simple, "these businesses won't be here if we don't support them," Ms Humble said.
The Shop Local 6210 Facebook Group, now with over 1,000 members and growing, began only one month before COVID-19 arrived in Western Australia. Ms Humble shared some examples of how local businesses have benefited from the platform she's created to promote their work and stories.
"The lady who runs Country Rugs came to me, told me who she was, promoted her business through the Shop Local group, and got so much traffic and new customers.
"People say they've found businesses through me that they never would have otherwise," Ms Humble said.
Along with Shop Local 6210, Ms Humble collaborates with Teesh Turner, founder of Vindi Designs and co-founder with Ms Humble of The Little Network Group Mandurah, another Facebook group specifically for small business owners to connect.
Ms Humble said that Ms Turner and "the business community around her was the catalyst that opened my eyes to how unique the small business community in Mandurah is."
As Ms Humble noted, small businesses in Mandurah need more help.
"It's about educating the people who are spending. Start thinking about how you could support small businesses in your local area."
To learn more about Shop Local 6210, click here: https://www.shoplocal6210.com/