Ms JENNY AITCHISON (Maitland) (17:50:38): We know that 98 per cent of all Australian businesses are small businesses, often family run affairs where people wear multiple hats, the hours are long and customers become friends. Changes to our shopping habits, the boom of the super centres, the chain store monopolies and the massive uptick in online sales have all dealt blow upon blow to many of our small businesses.

I praise the resilience of the many Maitland small businesses who have survived those threats and the Maitland Business Chamber and Maitland City Council who support them. They are now rallying to overcome the greatest economic challenge of the century—the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As global supply chains shudder under the strain of COVID we have finally realised as a community the importance of local manufacturing and local businesses. When we spend local, it stays local. Every dollar spent in small businesses has a multiplier effect that benefits the entire community.

Let's Go Local First to support #MadeinNSW and our local communities.