Australia Weather News

The campaign has gathered thousands of followers in just over a week. - ABC

When Grace Brennan called on people in the city to support regional businesses, she never expected the campaign to take off the way it has.

"It's just remarkable who has got behind it."

Ms Brennan created #buyfromthebush to shine a light on drought-affected towns struggling to maintain their businesses.

It markets to the big cities to encourage people there to buy remotely in the lead-up to Christmas.

"It's a hard time to run a business in a small town," Ms Brennan said.

"Social media brings accessibility and a direct line between city and country."

Ms Brennan moved from the city 10 years ago and now lives on a sheep and cropping farm at Warren in western New South Wales.

Like many communities in the region, the drought has been tough.

"We haven't had good rain in a long time … the work is not fun, pretty demoralising and really challenging," Ms Brennan said.

"The hope is slowly being deflated out of the community — some people are looking for work elsewhere, others are just getting by on slim cash flow."

Small businesses in the region depend on money coming from the agricultural industry, which is diminishing in the drought.

Ms Brennan saw this as an opportunity to draw in new customers using social media.

"They're not getting the foot traffic that they normally would [but] it's incredible what you can do with Instagram and Facebook."

'We need this to keep going'

The campaign, which only began a week ago, has already gathered more than 20,000 followers on Instagram.

Some business owners said they were reaping the benefits, including Lucy Moss, who runs a homeware boutique in Coonamble.

"It is really making a difference," she said.

"A lot of the other areas that are affected by drought want to get on board."

Ms Moss created an illustrative map to complement the campaign which details the participating towns.

It includes Walgett, which is home to business partners Georgie Currey and Sarah Wickman.

They joined the campaign after launching their new store in September, knowing the challenges businesses faced during the drought.

"It was pretty risky," Ms Currey said.

"I've sent stuff to Sydney, to Victoria, down to Wagga — we're posting things all over the state that I suppose usually we wouldn't have that kind of reach."

Warren business owner Laura Noonan said she was overwhelmed by the response and had been inundated with purchases Australia-wide.

"I've had a huge support … I would have sent the odd parcel, but nothing like this."

Ms Noonan said it had been tough keeping her shop open for the past seven years.

"Our street is just dead.

"I think [the public] realise how hard we're doing it ... we need this to keep going."