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Small businesses launch #ChooseBDA

  • Choose Bermuda: small businesses have launched the campaign to encourage residents to shop locally (Image supplied)

A group of small business owners have launched the #ChooseBDA digital campaign to promote buying locally to help economic recovery.

More than 150 businesses adopted the campaign’s logo on their social-media platforms after it was launched on Sunday.

The campaign founders, who come from industries including retail, service and hospitality, said they wanted to bring awareness of the importance of small business to the island’s economy.

Danielle Paynter, of The Nab app, said: “The residents of Bermuda have so much power to protect and grow the Bermudian economy just by making a conscious decision to support local businesses. And, with the impact to our tourism industry, the strength in our numbers matters more than ever.”

With the airport closed and no cruise ship visits, many small tourism-related and hospitality businesses have been especially hard-hit. The Royal Gazette reported that second-quarter losses alone from the absence of overseas visitors could amount to around $180 million.

“Bermuda’s economy will take time to recover, but with changes in mindsets and behaviours, the hope and foundation of #ChooseBDA is to help expedite that process,” campaign organisers said yesterday.

The group contacted their own networks of small-business owners from all sectors asking them to adapt their profile photo to include a uniform upsidedown triangle and to post a pre-designed #chooseBDA image, causing more than 150 businesses to follow suit. More are expected to join the effort and post support messages through the group’s Facebook and Instagram platforms.

“This was an incredible showcase of solidarity and goes to show how much we all truly want to support one another,” Laura Farge-Lowe, of Island Trading, said.

Joanna Stapff from 1609 Design has responded to the crisis by transitioning her business from a bricks-and-mortar store to online in a matter of days.

“While these uncertain times have been distressing to many local business owners, new opportunities have arisen and by adapting to an online platform we can provide better services, allowing us to truly step up our game for our customers,” Ms Stapff said.

The campaign stated: “As efforts continue to protect Bermuda’s people from this global pandemic, #chooseBDA aims to educate fellow residents about the impact of local businesses, encourage businesses to take on new challenges and present great offers and services to consumers, and inspire action to create the future we want to build for ourselves, our family and our island.”

The Facebook page has already attracted dozens of messages of support.

Dive Bermuda said: “We are supporting our home island! We choose to support businesses, our people and our future. Our survival and our success over the next few months will depend on Bermudians shopping locally and supporting retails and service providers.”

Dunkley’s posted: “We #ChooseBDA because we support our local farmers who produce milk and vegetables daily which helps to keep our team employed and serving you with food seven days a week!”

There are more messages on Instagram, including this one from Lilli Bermuda: “Choose Bermuda to support our home, our businesses, our people and our future on our island paradise.”

To contact #chooseBDA e-mail choosebda@gmail.com or visit their Instagram or Facebook page #chooseBDA