In the face of a global pandemic, many Australian businesses have proven incredibly resilient, pivoting and innovating in order to survive and thrive. 

New research from Commonwealth Bank’s recent consumer insights report1 released earlier this week, found 61 per cent of Australians believe local businesses have adapted well to the pandemic and successfully altered their service proposition to better suit changing customer needs. 

Pleasingly, this shift in business behaviour has ultimately encouraged more Australians to shop local, with the report revealing nearly one in two people (49 per cent) are shopping more with Australian online retailers amidst the pandemic.

Byron Bay hair, body and pet care business, Hemp Collective, is one Australian made and owned local retailer that has witnessed and benefitted from this change in consumer behaviour.

Founder of Hemp Collective, Maxine Shea, said: “Last year was a time of change and growth and we’ve seen a renewed sense of pride and interest from people buying local. While sadly not every business has been able to recover, I’ve seen a deep sense of community from the Byron Bay region, with the business community more solidified in supporting each other and locals rallying behind local businesses.”

As a celebration of this shift to shopping local, not-for-profit company Australian Made launched its inaugural Australian Made Week (24-30 May) which promotes the positive impact buying locally has on the broader economy and Australian jobs.

Speaking about the week, Australian Made Chief Executive, Ben Lazzaro, said: “It’s an opportunity to focus on the benefits of buying local and highlight that when you buy Australian Made, you have a direct economic impact on the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Australians throughout the supply chain.

“Buying Australian-made is the best way to ensure our manufacturing industry in Australia thrives, and we have found there is an increasing demand for authentic Aussie products produced in our clean, green environment and manufactured to our high standards.”

To further encourage Australians to shop local, the bank rewards customers through its program CommBank Rewards2.

Through this program, CBA promotes several Australian small and large businesses including Hemp Collective, by giving cashback to customers when they shop with them.

CBA’s Group Executive for Business Banking, Mike Vacy-Lyle said it was pleasing to see Australian consumers rallying behind local businesses.

“When customers shop local they are choosing to directly inject much needed cash-flow into the pockets of local businesses,” Mr Vacy-Lyle said.  

“We’re encouraged to be seeing strong signs of recovery across many parts of the economy and we know that many local businesses are looking to invest and capture the opportunities that increasing demand for Aussie made and owned presents,” he added.

Hemp Collective says they have seen sales across their retail stockists increasing, with feedback indicating that customers are supportive of local brands, especially products that are sustainable & eco-friendly.

“We are committed to sustainable and zero waste practices and proud to be certified as a genuine Australian-made and owned business, which people love and appreciate. People, now more than ever, care about the products they use, how it makes them feel and the story behind ethical brands,” said Ms Shea.

“We produce hair, body and pet care products handcrafted partly from our own hemp grown near Byron Bay in the Northern Rivers and other Australian Hemp seed oil suppliers. We are proud to support Australian hemp growers by purchasing their products which helps the broader Australian industry to thrive. There are lots of decisions we collectively make which hurt the planet and the humble hemp plant provides sustainable alternatives for everyday essentials, while also benefiting the soil, air and forests and brings many health benefits,” Ms Shea added.

Notes for Editors

1 CommBank Consumer Insights in an exclusive, wide-ranging analysis of the Australian consumer with this edition focused on evaluating the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on consumer lifestyles and behaviours. This edition is based on an online quantitative survey conducted by ACA Research on behalf of the Commonwealth Bank. The survey was conducted in January 2021 and was completed by 5,656 consumers of goods and services. The sample was selected to ensure the results are nationally representative. All statistics and references to consumers in this report are based on the responses to the survey unless otherwise stated.

2 CommBank Rewards is the bank’s cashback offer program and is available to eligible CBA customers for every day spending. Eligible customers include CBA credit or debit Mastercard customers that are at least 18 years old, are not in hardship, are not in default with any CommBank accounts and can access CommBank Rewards through the latest version of the CommBank app. Terms and conditions apply to CommBank Rewards and can be found at