A campaign to get Australians to buy from businesses in communities hit by drought has boosted sales by $5 million.

The Buy from the Bush campaign connected Australians with select small businesses across the country that had felt the brunt of natural disasters.

Businesses experienced a 300 per cent jump in sales, one in five hired new workers, and more than one in three began shipping interstate.

The AlphaBeta report commissioned by Buy from the Bush and social media giant Facebook also found one in five businesses started shipping overseas.

Grace Brennan, who kicked off the campaign in October, said she wasn’t expecting to raise millions.

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Diana from @designdetail in Jindabyne has an incredible shop filled with alpine-inspired homewares. Browsing her page, you can almost smell the wood fire and taste the mountain air! One of our favourites in store is her own label Destination X Unknown, a reflection of all her favourite things: vintage, wool, travel and road trips. She repurposes (predominately merino) wool blankets and vintage travel pendants to create these beautiful products. Cushions range from $129, the locally made lavender heat packs are $40 (made from leftover wool from cushions), set of 4 x coasters $39.95 and our personal favourite (read obsession) the antlers $495. And if you are looking for stunning wool blankets check out her range of Pendleton blankets. We die. Shop online at www.designdetail.com.au. ➖ Jindabyne is a town reliant on tourism. Their summer trade was drastically impacted by bushfires and Corona lockdown has meant there was no Easter trade and may be no ski season. Sending our BFTB support to all those communities in the snowies and hoping people get some #bushleave to #stayinthebush very soon! #buyfromthebush #madeinthebush #bushtalent #bushmaker #bushcreator #bushtreasurehunt #stuffthedrought #buggerthefires #fthevirus #cityandcountry

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“While I didn’t start the project with that in mind, it doesn’t surprise me now,” Ms Brennan told AAP

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“I think consumers want to connect with a story and want to know where their products come from.”

She has now set her sights on a “Stay in the Bush” campaign to promote domestic tourism in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown.

Ms Brennan said she knew people wanted to help businesses in struggling communities but didn’t know how.

She said the pandemic has also changed people’s behaviours when it comes to buying local.

The report found nearly all of the business owners featured in the campaign were women, with 90 per cent of owners saying it had improved their lives by boosting self-esteem and easing financial pressures.

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Meredith from @dough.re.mi is based in Wagga, NSW and calls herself a connoisseur of deliciousness (I mean, life goals achieved ✔️🤗). She makes an incredible range of festive cookies to suit your party/corporate branding/ everyday pick me up needs. These affirmation cookies are her latest project. Pop a little gem in your kids lunchbox or share them with your work team. Box of 14 cookies (pictured) $35 or box of 28 cookies for $55. 18 different quotes/ affirmations. @dough.re.mi uses packaging from wood pulp which is home compostable within 8-12 weeks so no more feeling like you are adding to the plastic pile. #buyfromthebush #bushtalent #bushcreator #cityandcountry #stuffthedrought

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NSW was home to the majority of small businesses featured in the campaign.

Facebook’s Australian policy head Mia Garlick said her platform had helped send a message of hope.

“Something as simple as a social media post can help business owners connect with customers across town, across the country or even in other countries,” she told AAP.

AAP

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