Ballina residents will be able to access a list of local businesses for shopping for products or services over the phone.
Ballina residents will be able to access a list of local businesses for shopping for products or services over the phone.

DETAILS: How to join Ballina’s new shopping program

FROM Monday, Ballina Shire Council will offer support to businesses who would like to connect with people who are in self isolation, the elderly and the general community.

The Business Connect Hotline will see businesses across the shire signing up to the service by contacting the council.

A list of services will be published regularly with phone contact details.

Customers will be able to call and order groceries and other products from other types of shops such as pharmacies.

The customer and the business will arrange a delivery (for a fee) via taxi or similar. Residents may be eligible to use the NSW Government's Regional Seniors Travel Card which can be used for taxi services.

The council's connection service will be free for businesses and residents to use.

Businesses and residents can contact council on 1300 864 444, Monday to Friday, during council business hours.

The council will give residents information about the businesses registered with the program, but it will not recommend any products or services.

Individuals themselves will decide what service they will use to have the products delivered. It might be that the business does its own delivery, or they can use a taxi provider or a different service.

Councillor Sharon Cadwallader said this will not have an impact on the council's costs.

"After the closure of BISC and other venues, this allow us to direct some of those resources to this," she said.

Ms Cadwallader said the scheme was open to supermarkets, pharmacies, big and small retailers, sole traders and service providers across the Ballina Shire.

"This is important to protect those at risk, support those working all day at frontline services but also support our local businesses," she said.

One of the first businesses to join the scheme will be Harvest Newrybar.

The business will offer produce boxes for $50, plus other items such as nutrient dense frozen meals from $12.

Tristan Grier, co-owner at Harvest Newrybar, said this program will help his business but the also local farmers he works with.

"After talking with our local farmers and vegetable suppliers, whom we have been working with for over 15 years, we realised that by working together we could create a product that people need during these uncertain times," he said.

"This is about keeping the supply chain in business more than making profit.

"We have made them as affordable as possible for consumers. Now, more than ever, it is vital that our community is working together, eating well, and ensuring our immune system is supported."


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