Australian community pharmacies have been leading the way in supporting the national vaccination efforts alongside allied healthcare providers during what has been a tumultuous two years.
Whilst community pharmacies have been making a real difference from a health perspective, they have also stepped up to help local small businesses also doing it tough.
Blooms The Chemist, which has a national network of 110 pharmacies across Australia, encourages its pharmacy owners to support small businesses in their local communities.
We believe it’s our role to support the health and wellbeing of the local community as a whole, which goes beyond the individual. When the community thrives, small businesses and individuals thrive. We are all connected in a symbiotic relationship.
In the Perth suburb of North Coogee, our pharmacy is supporting local small business Coogee Calm Candles, providing an important sales channel for its range of homemade candles and melts.
The relationship came about after the pharmacy owner saw the business on Instagram and approached the owner, Tegan Glover, exposing her to retail/wholesale pricing, invoicing and supply, and some light touch business mentoring. She says the support of the pharmacy has been important in helping her grow the business.
“The pharmacy has been very supportive and enabled us to have a physical presence on the high street in Port Coogee Shopping Centre,” Tegan said. “The opportunity to get our products into a physical store with high foot traffic would have been unimaginable. When the pharmacy approached me and agreed to stock our product range, we were delighted. It has given us much needed awareness in the local community, and provided a critical source of revenue alongside our website.”
In the Victorian town of Daylesford, the Daylesford Art Show is a key event for local communities, small businesses and artists. Organised and managed by the Daylesford Rotary, it gives artists a platform to showcase work and secure sales. Due to COVID-19, the Rotary took the recent art show and sales to the streets.
“The local pharmacy was very supportive and offered its store as a pop-up gallery for some of the paintings in the show, displaying the work and helping to secure sales,” Tim Cansfield-Smith, co-ordinator of the art show for the Daylesford Rotary, said.
“The pharmacy was very enthusiastic about the initiative and showed great desire to help support the artists, who, like other local small businesses, were seeking opportunities to generate sales through the art show. Since the show’s conclusion in December the pharmacy has continued to hang artwork in the store, which is commendable and illustrates their desire to support the community,” Tim added.
In Albury, Adoring Addie, a quality handmade jewellery operated by an employee and her mother is ranging their products in our pharmacy, alongside another local small business such as Nostalgic Wick.
Ranging local products gives our team members the confidence to recommend small businesses in the local community that may be a good fit for the pharmacy, and in turn, demonstrates we can support local small businesses.
The pandemic has elevated the role of the local pharmacy, becoming an important destination in our communities and a trusted place for people to get help on a range of health and personal matters. Many of our customers are local small business owners or employees, so we recognise the integral role we can play in supporting a thriving community.
It’s important that community pharmacies listen to the needs of the community and local small businesses, and develop bespoke support based on those needs. This can help to unite the community, break down barriers and help everyone thrive, including our important local small businesses.