The Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association (ALNA) is celebrating newsagents and all small business owners during National Newsagent Week (NNW) with a campaign themed ‘community’.

NNW runs from 11-18 September, and this year it will recognise the essential role newsagents have played within communities throughout the pandemic. They have continued to provide positive local service, at a time when shopping local has never been more necessary.

There are around 3,000 independent, family-owned news and lottery agents in Australia. An industry that employs more than 15,000 people.

Ben Kearney, CEO, ALNA, said that newsagents have played a pivotal role in keeping Australian’s informed as well as providing necessary supplies for communities who have found themselves working and learning from home.

“Newsagents across the country are continuing to find new ways to serve their communities in need, during our time of crisis. They have been fortunate to be able to continue to keep customers and the community informed and entertained through many lockdowns and isolation, locally and nationally.

“We want to use NNW this year to thank our community and honour our newsagents’ service and the service of all small businesses during the pandemic. We thank our customers, but also want to recognise the importance of small businesses and acknowledge how tough it is right now for many, especially those businesses who have not been allowed to trade.

“As shoppers are driven to stay confined in many local areas, newsagents have become the heart of their community, helping their local area survive and thrive during the crisis. We invite all Australians to join us and our key partners to thank all small businesses within our local community during NNW.”

Go Local First spokesperson and COSBOA chair, Mark McKenzie, said that newsagents are an example of how small businesses are tackling challenging economic conditions.

“They’ve successfully managed to adapt to a constantly shifting landscape, and have shown resilience, strength, and tenacity in order to continue supporting their local communities.

“Small businesses do more than just sell products and services – they help build and bring character to our local communities. Small businesses contribute to a third of our economic activity, keep millions of Australians in jobs and are responsible for paying wages to more than half of our workforce. They are vital to our everyday lives – especially now, as our country faces the long road to economic recovery.”

For the third year, magazine publishers are working in conjunction with ALNA, Ovato Retail Distribution and Ovato Print, to offer customers who purchase a participating magazine at any newsagent between 6 September and 3 October the chance to enter a draw and win $50,000 with a guaranteed prize of $5,000.

The promotion is being supported with in-store displays, social media and advertising across national and metro magazines and newspapers.

Additionally, newsagents are using the week as an opportunity to highlight the role communities play in supporting charities, with initiatives including fire and flood recovery, Foodbank donations, special shopping opportunities for aged care residents, and the RUOK Day card initiative seen in newsagents across the country recently.

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