Mr Barilaro said small businesses across NSW, including those listed on Buy Regional which last year banded together at the height of the drought to pack hundreds of Christmas hampers for Sydney businesses, can now confidently trade online in the lead up to Christmas.
“Small businesses are the backbone of regional NSW and many are home-based online stores and they need certainty about where and how they can trade,” Mr Barilaro said.
“Sydneysiders answered the call by supporting regional businesses during the drought and online sales have boomed during COVID-19, so it’s important that businesses in Uralla, and across the whole state, not be excluded from selling goods to their online customers.
“After such an unpredictable and tumultuous year it’s vital we provide certainty to communities who are doing it tough, and I’m thrilled we could make this happen just in time for Christmas.”
Minister for Small Business Damien Tudehope said small and home-based businesses made a valuable contribution to the NSW economy and now they can trade with some clarity.
“A lot of home-based and regional businesses rely on online trade and we saw what a difference campaigns such as Buy Regional and Buy from the Bush made to them. This is a way for all these businesses who have been doing it tough with drought, bushfires, floods and now COVID to continue to sell their products without the worry,” Mr Tudehope said.
Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall MP said the changed definitions now make it clear that online retail sales can be transacted from home, thanks to an amendment made to the Standard Instrument Local Environment Plan by Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes to make sure small, home-based online retail trading can continue.
“The changes are part of a push to modernise, simplify and clarify the planning system and provide certainty for the community and business,” Mr Marshall said.
Tara Toomey, from Uralla business The Humble Cook and the Seasons of New England business group, is thrilled that the NSW Government has intervened and provided the certainty and support needed for her to operate from home and meet the Christmas rush.
Ms Toomey’s business, which is listed on Buy Regional, makes a range of treats using ingredients sourced direct from regional farmers and businesses across the New England region and beyond.
“Having the capacity to trade online is the most critical tool to sustain communities as we look to economically recover from COVID-19,” Ms Toomey said.
“It is essential for small businesses to be supported as we compete in a global online space, and I thank the NSW Government for intervening to allow this to happen and for making it a smoother process for all involved.”