Approaching the one year anniversary of being named WA Business Woman of the Year, Avon Valley Motoring Group dealer principal Leonie Knipe is urging Wheatbelt residents to support local businesses who are doing in tough in the wake of COVID-19.
Mrs Knipe has been a champion of Wheatbelt business, using her platform to support, mentor and build up others long before being crowned a state-standout.
Twelve-months on she is using her platform to encourage locals to support the ever-changing small business landscape in Northam and throughout the Wheatbelt.
"It is more important than ever to shop local while being socially responsible and adhering to safety precautions as dictated by government authorities," Mrs Knipe said.
"Our local businesses are adaptable and forward thinking and have adjusted to new ways of doing business.
"It is possible to have your cake and eat it too.
"Continue to shop, albeit in a way you may not have done previously, whilst exercising social distance and self isolation."
The shop local message has also continued to be pushed by the Northam Chamber of Commerce.
Northam Chamber of Commerce chief executive Esther Bliss said support extended not just to business but to the familiar faces whose livelihoods rely on them.
"In the current climate we encourage everyone to shop local where they can," she said.
"Now is the time to return the favour and support local businesses that have supported our fundraising efforts, sporting clubs and school charity nights in the past.
"These businesses are owned by our friends and members of our community.
"They need our help no matter how small it might seem.
"They are the first to be approached to donate and help the wider community so now the community needs to ensure they support them.
"We need to make sure they survive this so there are jobs to come back to after this crisis is over."
Mrs Knipe, who runs Avon Valley Toyota, Isuzu Ute, Nissan and Mitsubishi in Northam said her team were taking on practical steps to ensure the health of their staff and customers.
"We are deep cleaning everyday and disinfecting cars as they enter and leave the workshop, have reorganised the customer lounge due to social distancing, keys aren't being handled by us and are we are conducting virtual tours of our vehicles for people interested in buying a vehicle and not wanting to come into the dealership among other things," she said.
"You can even purchase a vehicle online."
Local businesses have been reminded to see the Australia Government business website at www.business.gov.au/ to learn more about support available in response to coronavirus.