Our Valley: The benefit is mutual

ALTHOUGH Harvey Norman is a chain, it is Grafton resident and franchisee John Stewart's business.

Mr Stewart moved from Sydney to Grafton 25 years ago because he wanted a safe place to raise his four kids.

Two have graduated from university and are working in Brisbane and the other two are working for their dad while they wait to go to university.

Mr Stewart said if the store does well, he does well and he is able to provide for his family.

It also means his 30 employees have permanent, full time and secure jobs so they can provide for their families.

LOCAL BUSINESS: Petrina Blanchard, Chris Rougley, Maddy Rake, Jon Meuleman and Hayley Stewart of Harvey Norman Grafton.
LOCAL BUSINESS: Petrina Blanchard, Chris Rougley, Maddy Rake, Jon Meuleman and Hayley Stewart of Harvey Norman Grafton.

However, it is not just Mr Stewart and his employees that depend on the success of the Harvey Norman store.

"There is a flow on effect on other businesses," Mr Stewart said.

He said he contracts local delivery men to bring stock from Sydney every Monday.

"The more things we get delivered, the busier they become," he said.

Mr Stewart said he also contracts local cleaners and waste disposal services.

"All the tradesmen we use are local as well," he said.

"We will take locals any day because we know they're going to shop with us.

"Buying locally is important for us because we want to help the town grow.

"Most of our employees are adults and most of them have families.

"Rarely do we go through staff because they realise jobs are hard to get.

"The busier, the better, the more locals will benefit."

Which is why if your money is spent in town, it stays in town.

Mr Stewart said buying locally ensured service.

He said if you bought a product in town, by law you could return it and have it fixed for free. He also said if you bought online or from another store you may have no protection.

"We're used to costumers coming to us and saying 'I can buy it online', and seeing how competitive we can be," Mr Stewart said. "And the majority of cases we can match the online price."

SUPERCHEAP AUTO
How many staff do you employ? 14
How many full time/part time/casual? Two full time/ Three part time/ nine casual
How many other businesses depend on your store? About 15, six different delivery companies and the people we purchase off and deliver to

BIG W
How many staff do you employ? 108
How many full time/part time/casual? 60 full time/ 28 Part Time/20 Casual
How many other businesses depend on your store? 12 truck carriers, one bike builder, number of cleaners, Armour Guard

DAN MURPHY'S
How many staff do you employ? 18
How many full time/part time/casual? Six full time/ eight part time /four casual
How many other businesses depend on your store? One local delivery company, cleaners, three smaller delivery companies

COLES
How many staff do you employ? 53
How many full time/part time/casual? 25 full time/16 part time/ sixcasual
How many other businesses depend on your store? Two cleaning companies, Norco, Tiptop, Butter Cup, Qld Yoghurt



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