The Australia Talks National Survey 2021 found 38 per cent of Australians do not know many of their neighbours by name.

Yet research consistently concludes that knowing your neighbours helps build community connection. 

Plus if you’re a business owner, getting to know your neighbours is an important part of being resilient in your business as well as for building community resilience as a whole. 

Your business neighbours can help each other in many ways, especially in an emergency. Quite often your business neighbours will serve as first responders during any crisis.

Social networks – the horizontal and vertical ties that connect us to others – are our most important defence against disasters,” says Professor Daniel Aldrich, Professor of Political Science, Public Policy and Urban Affairs and Director, Security and Resilience Program, Northeastern University. “Resilience – the ability to recover from shocks, including natural disasters – comes from our connections to others, and not from physical infrastructure or disaster kits.”

In 2022, make a resolution to invest time and effort to know your business neighbours and their needs – before an emergency situation occurs.

 

Ideas for how you can connect with and help your business neighbours

  • Think about business owners in your community who may need your help, for example:
    • Business owners who are older or with physical impairments;
    • Business owners who are single parents with young children;
    • Business owners with large families; or
    • Newly arrived people, including refugees or immigrants.
  • Sit down over a cup of tea and chat with your neighbours to help identify areas where they might need assistance
  • Start a list of tasks that local business owners might be able to help each other with – for instance, helping with heavy lifting or applying for grants 
  • Organise a community event —it’s a great way to get to know your business neighbours and to build interactions, trust and reciprocity
  • Help your business neighbours prepare an emergency plan, emergency kit and evacuation plan 
  • Plan how the business community could work together after a disaster
  • Help to distribute information about what is happening when a disaster occurs
  • Help in the clean up after a disaster

 

Business Community Resilience Toolkit in Southern and Northern NSW

Local businesses and business communities in Southern and Northern NSW can learn how to better prepare, connect, and build resilience over the course of 26 fortnightly modules as part of our Business Community Resilience Toolkit program.

‘Next Door Saviour’ is the seventh module of the toolkit. It’s not too late to join the program – just go to https://grants.corporate2community.com/

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