IT'S been one year since the NSW Government launched Buy Regional to help connect city shoppers with regional businesses doing it tough in the face of record drought.
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What a difference a year makes - most of regional NSW is now in drought recovery, but businesses are still doing it tough because of COVID-19.
Many regional retailers can now easily reach online customers, however, thanks to Buy Regional.
Buy Regional is not only about giving businesses in the bush the gift of new customers and helping to stimulate local economies, it's also about boosting morale in rural towns and connecting people in the city with our innovative regional retailers.
You can't underestimate the benefit a single purchase provides to a regional business and the flow-on effect of that sale, putting cash into a pay packet or paying a local supplier - now imagine how great it would be if every family in Sydney bought one gift regionally.
Buy Regional showcases 501 businesses from Broken Hill to Bega and Bathurst to Byron Bay with everything from alpaca ponchos and cricket bats to emu oil and pistachio nuts - and for the hard to buy for, there is always that bottle of premium wine or hand-distilled spirits.
Regional businesses can still list themselves for free on Buy Regional and be a part of its social media network by registering online at www.nsw.gov.au/regionalnsw/buy-regional/buy-regional-information-for-businesses
Visit the Buy Regional website at www.nsw.gov.au/buyregional and be sure to share your Christmas gift ideas using the hashtag #BuyRegional.
THE countdown to Christmas is on and the gifts are rolling in for Seniors' Card holders with fresh discounts on electricity, home and hardware, groceries, internet and more.
Many seniors are spending more time at home this year to protect their physical health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Seniors have shown incredible resilience in a difficult year while still supporting their families and communities, so it's great to be able to team up with our Seniors' Card partners to offer these super savings.
Simply Energy is offering NSW Seniors' Card holders a 21 per cent discount on electricity and 11 per cent off their gas bills. Aussie Broadband and Pennytel have lined up some terrific dollar dazzlers on NBN and mobile phone plans.
Gas and electricity discounts really help cut the cost of using home cooling systems and will keep heating bills down next winter as well. Mobile and internet savings help unite people online and on the phone during this festive period.
Cost of living can be a challenge for older people and we want our 1.7 million NSW Seniors' Card holders to get the best possible benefits with discounts and special offers from over 7000 businesses across NSW.
Get more info at www.seniorscard.nsw.gov.au/discounts/homepageoffers/christmas-dazzlers
GRANTS totalling more than $5 million over a two-year period are now available for heritage projects across NSW, helping identify, conserve and celebrate our state's rich heritage.
I have witnessed first-hand the impact recent disasters have had on our cultural heritage, built heritage and the natural environment, so this year, we are offering grants that will help those affected to remediate sites and improve resilience.
There are three grant categories: Aboriginal Cultural Heritage, Caring for State Heritage and Community Heritage. The program has also been expanded to help owners and custodians of heritage places affected by natural disasters.
Projects in the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage category can include works to Aboriginal cultural heritage sites, as well as projects that celebrate and promote greater understanding of Aboriginal cultural heritage.
Owners of state significant heritage can apply for grants for works to restore, activate and interpret those items through the Caring for State Heritage Grants category.
The Community Heritage Grants category is for projects that engage communities in the celebration and promotion of heritage, especially projects that connect future generations with our heritage.
The 2021-23 NSW Heritage Grants funding round is open for applications until February 8, 2021. Funding is also available for local government initiatives.
For more information, including guidelines and an application, visit the Heritage NSW website, www.heritage.nsw.gov.au/grants/
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