Scarboro Hardware’s plea to support small business goes viral

Scarboro Hardware owners Jarrad and Jenie Elliott, with staff member Phil Heldt. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.
Scarboro Hardware owners Jarrad and Jenie Elliott, with staff member Phil Heldt. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.

A SCARBOROUGH store owner’s plea to support small business has resonated with people around the country.

A difficult 12 months in trade prompted Scarboro Hardware owner Jenie Elliott to hand deliver 500 letters and accompanying fridge magnets to nearby residents asking them to “maybe think of us next time you need ‘something’”.

Scarborough resident Ali Balch posted a photo of the letter to social media last week, which attracted 100 shares in a couple of days.

“I’m amazed at the power of social media, and the community spirit in our neighbourhood,” Ms Balch said.

Mrs Elliott’s husband Jarrad and his father Kevin have run the store for 35 years but business has dwindled.

She considered radio advertising but said they could not afford it so instead went back to basics.

“With the magnet, it’s something people will see and hopefully think of us next time,” she said.

“The letter was more something I wanted to say to people.”

Mrs Elliott said many small business had closed and urged customers to choose locally owned stores.

It is a sentiment that has resonated with people across Australia.

Scarboro Hardware’s social media post of the letter has been shared more than 1000 times in five days, even reaching other small business owners in Queensland, Tasmania and Victoria.

The exposure has translated into customers through the doors and Mrs Elliott said she hoped to encourage people to think of small businesses for all purchases.

“I hope everybody does just stop and think (about small businesses) when they go and buy something,” she said.

“Give them a chance and see if they can help.”