Boost with Facebook is back – first stop, Blue Mountains

Alisha Elliott, Head of Policy Programs - Australia & New Zealand – May 19, 2021

Small businesses are the driving force for economic recovery, which is why we’re excited to be back on the road, visiting towns across regional Australia offering free digital skills to use Facebook and Instagram to continue to grow, innovate and stay resilient through uncertain times. 

The Facebook team visited the Blue Mountains for our first in-person Boost with Facebook event since March 2020 and were joined by business owners ready to learn and grow their business, despite the many varied headwinds faced by the local community. We met with small businesses looking to take the next step in their digital marketing journey, and we were thrilled with the enthusiasm and commitment by attendees to step outside their comfort zone and learn something new.

Ms Susan Templeman, Member for Macquarie joined the event and shared her support for local business owners impacted by many crises and how digital tools can help the Blue Mountains community stay resilient. “The past 18 months have seen the people of the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury endure bushfires, landslides, the pandemic and two floods. It’s meant businesses have had to pivot to adapt, and for many that has meant increasing their social media presence. Our local business owners are weary of constantly being challenged, and that’s why I was heartened today by the number of local people who took time out of their busy days to come along and put it into building their skills at the Boost With Facebook program.

The pandemic has shown that digital skills are imperative to help businesses adapt and build resilience, and their survival is necessary not just for the people they employ, but also their communities. We invited two local business owners to share their insights as part of the workshops.

One was Mountain Culture Beer, a boutique brewery run by Harriet and DJ McCready in Katoomba, NSW. They launched their business as the pandemic began and despite lockdowns grew their presence on Facebook, developing a loyal following of customers across Australia, leading to the business being voted as Australia’s top brewery. Their online growth had put them in a position where they could give back to their community, and just recently ran a fundraiser with all the proceeds donated to local athlete, Tom O’Halloran who will head to Tokyo for his first Olympic Games.

Another person helping the area is business owner Muriel Wang, from Kotes by Kobe. Muriel wanted to share her love for the Blue Mountains with the world, and started an Instagram account (@kobethepyr) for her furry best friend Kobe, to show the best dog friendly hiking destinations around the area. The Instagram account grew and nurtured a close knit community within itself of dog lovers, adventurers and nature lovers from all around Australia and other countries, and attracted domestic travellers back to the Blue Mountains to explore the hikes (and other local businesses) for themselves. 

The success of these business owners wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the resilience and adaptability to be creative and keep going. Which is why we will continue to invest in education and local programs as part of our ongoing support to small businesses, to help communities move towards economic recovery.

The Boost with Facebook Blue Mountains event was organised in collaboration with the Blue Mountains City Council and MTNS MADE, and we’re incredibly thankful for their partnership to bring this event to life.

Our next Boost with Facebook event will be announced soon. Tune into the Facebook Australia page for future announcements.  

If you aren’t able to make our Boost with Facebook events, you can access more free training from Facebook via the Small Business Learning Hub, and connect with thousands of businesses on the Boost with Facebook Australia Group.

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