Dalby mum launches social media campaign to support local business
DURING a time where small businesses struggled, and it seemed like the future of our local enterprises remained hazy, Dalby mother-of-three Olivia Ott provided a light at the end of the tunnel for our business owners through something as simple as a hashtag.
The Dalby Matters founder and her family made the move to Dalby mere weeks before the pandemic struck, but what she found was a treasure trove of small businesses run by locals who love their work and love their community.
When businesses began cutting staff and closing doors in light of COVID-19, Mrs Ott refused to sit idly by and watch families suffer - so Dalby Matters was born.
What started as a small Facebook group for people to share information about their favourite local cafes, pubs, and shops exploded to a much larger social media campaign giving small businesses a plug and encouraging Dalby locals to source supplies from their own backyard.
"We're just passionate about the people behind it," Mrs Ott said.
"People matter and we want to support them in their businesses and outside of their businesses.
"A lot of good comes from that … there's no losers in that.
"People feel so good about themselves doing that as well."
The Dalby Matters Facebook community and Instagram page houses information about small businesses in and around Dalby, and encourages members and followers to shop at those businesses, especially in light of the pandemic.
Self-professed shopaholic and people person Mrs Ott said learning the stories of the people behind her favourite stores sparked the desire to help wherever she could.
"I'd just go downtown and go into shops and talk to the owners because I wanted to get to know people," she said.
"These people have a family and this is it for them.
"And people are just shopping online, but they don't have to - it's right here."
The two platforms have amassed over 1000 followers and counting, and Mrs Ott wants to see the initiative to continue to expand.
She said what it all comes down to is a love of the town, the people, and the sense of community.
As a newcomer, having only moved to Dalby from Toowoomba in January, the community feel was something Mrs Ott felt straight away.
"I want people to love Dalby, I want people to want to stay here," she said.
"We have a good town here, we love the community here.
"We're just passionate about people and Dalby."
Local businesses are now using #DalbyMatters in their own posts, and the message is spreading fast: shop local and support our Dalby families and friends.
"We just say that people matter," she said.
"We want people to know that Dalby really matters, and the community you're apart of is actually super awesome."