How a Facebook group injected millions of dollars into the rural economy


In October 2019, Buy bush was launched as an Instagram hashtag to encourage more people to buy from rural businesses during the horrific drought that rocked parts of Australia.

Almost two years later, the tiny hashtag has grown into a huge community with over 340,000 members and has helped rural businesses through devastating bushfires, floods and a global pandemic.

Buy From The Bush Facebook group founder Jenn Donovan said, “When I started the group, it was because of the terrible drought in my rural community, and many others across the country. We didn’t know bushfires, flooding and a global pandemic were around the corner. “

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The end of 2019 was a difficult time for rural businesses whose main source of income came from visitors passing through the city, Donovan said.

After seeing the success of the #BuyFromTheBush hashtag on Instagram, Donovan created a Facebook page to simplify the buying and selling process. The page took off instantly.

“It grew very quickly, it reached 100,000 [members] mark in a few months and then steadily increased from there, ”she says.

As the group’s growth was catapulted, Buy From The Bush aligned with the Spend With Us Marketplace earlier this year to create an easier and more streamlined buying and selling experience. The roster has been an incredible success and is on track to reach over a million by the end of the year.

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The alignment is a proud moment for Donovan: “We have been able to give people living in rural areas the opportunity to practice that hobby or dream that they have always had – but never have. really had the resources or never really knew how to market themselves – and suddenly give them the platform to start their business. “

The group has supported rural businesses in recent years of uncertainty by simply giving people the opportunity to access them.

“I think that’s one of the best things that came out of the pandemic – people really want to shop in rural areas,” she says.

Not only can people access locally made products, Buy From The Bush has helped rural families create a second stream of income.

“Some of the best feedback I’ve received is from people who say they now feel financially independent, especially women who didn’t have that and now have a level of financial independence,” she says.

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As this holiday season approaches, Donovan urges everyone to buy some bush.

“I think there has been a major shift in people’s attitude about where people want to know ‘who is behind this business’,” she said. “Buying in a rural area isn’t just about receiving a gift, it could make the business owner’s Christmas. “

As the borders open and we head into the holiday season, Spend With Us – Buy From A Bush Business has created a map highlighting businesses you can visit and say G’day too while you travel and site-wide gift cards to spend at any of the 1400+ rural and regional stores online.

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