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How Aussies Can Help Small Businesses Through The Coronavirus Crisis

A new online campaign is encouraging people to buy local to help struggling businesses stay open during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Instagram page 'buyaussienow' is using the power of social media to promote local brands and their products.

The account was created on Monday, and in a matter of hours it had already racked up more than four thousand followers.

The account has gained thousands of followers in just a few hours. Image: Instagram.

The creator, Mitchell Catlin, said he was inspired to create the account because many Aussie businesses have been forced to shut up shop as worried consumers stay away due to coronavirus fears.

"In many ways the tap has been turned off," Catlin told 10 daily.

"Everyone in my industry is feeling concerned, feeling helpless and this is a way to at least try to give back and do something."

More than a dozen brands have already been showcased. Image: Instagram

"We need to keep the money here, if we don't, the recovery is going to be 20 times longer so we need to try and do everything we can locally to support it."

Catlin has already showcased a number of Aussie brands on the page, from hand sanitisers and soap to milk, chocolate and even pyjamas.

He said he had been contacted by a number of businesses who wanted to be showcased and was working through the list.

Catlin also hoped the momentum to support Aussie brands will go far beyond the current virus crisis.

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"This is not designed to be a one-off," he said, adding the current crisis needed similar small business support to what was seen during the bushfires.

"We need to keep this concept going in the longer term."

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Regional businesses say they're overwhelmed and inspired by the support from people in the city, as the devastating drought wears on across the country.

As concerns over the coronavirus pandemic grow globally, hundreds have also used hashtags #buylocal and #supportlocal on social media platforms to encourage people to support home-grown businesses.

Another popular Instagram account which helps support drought-stricken communities in rural Australia has also been promoting local products around the coronavirus.

#buyfromthebush has shared a number of posts in recent days of businesses and products which may help Aussies during the coronavirus outbreak but that would also help local business.

At the time of writing, 'buyaussienow' had 5,391 followers.

"I don't have a goal [about followers]," Catlin said.

"But I'm pretty bloody happy so far."

Contact the author: vgerova@networkten.com.au