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Willoughby City Council pledges support for local businesses

Willoughby City Council 3 mins read
The team at Philosophy Australia, a Willoughby-based womenswear fashion house

Business leaders and entrepreneurs are joining forces with Willoughby City Council to promote the community-wide benefits of thriving local businesses, as part of a new campaign launched today (Tuesday 21 May 2024).

Backed by Mayor Tanya Taylor, Willoughby Councillors and various chambers of commerce, Support Local showcases the entrepreneurs and businesses which make up the area’s distinctive economy, as part of efforts to galvanise businesses amid nation-wide economic challenges.


Business-owners featured in the campaign include:

  • Alison Lennard: designer and owner of Philosophy Australia, a fashion house based in Willoughby that designs and produces Australian-designed and made womenswear
  • Michael Chen: owner of Salvage Speciality Coffee, a café chain with outlets in Chatswood, Artarmon and Willoughby which employs 50 local residents
  • Anna Curnuck: artist, curator and owner of SIBU Gallery in Naremburn, which specialises in home and office artwork installation
  • Kyle and Georgia Ford: founders and co-owners of Finders Distillery, an award-winning gin distillery based in St Leonards
  • Sunny Huang: founder of Tea Journal, a Chatswood-based tea shop that promotes positive mental health in the community through its traditional Chinese approach to tea


The campaign comes amid a challenging economic environment where cost of living pressures are reducing consumer spending. By platforming unique local businesses with strong community ties, the Council is aiming to boost local trade while preserving Willoughby’s attractiveness for start-ups and would-be entrepreneurs. Council also hopes the campaign will increase residents’ consideration for in-person shopping in the LGA’s local centres, rather than spending outside the area, to support local businesses and maintain Willoughby’s strong, vibrant and diverse local economy, and status as a great place to live.


Alongside the campaign, the Council has re-affirmed its ongoing commitment to support entrepreneurs with networking opportunities and knowledge-sharing workshops.


Willoughby City Mayor Tanya Taylor said:

“Willoughby wouldn’t be the same without the resilience, creativity, and dedication of our local entrepreneurs, who make a huge contribution to community life. In many cases these businesses offer experiences that their mass-market competitors can’t, which brings shoppers to our streets and builds local pride in our local centres. Council is always on hand to support local businesses and help them navigate current and future economic challenges. Together we can secure Willoughby’s prosperity.”

Michael Chen, founder and owner of Salvage Speciality Coffee said:

“Willoughby is the perfect location for small business owners. It’s full of supportive, caring people and there’s a really strong community spirit. We get great support from all levels of government which has helped us grow our business, and we pride ourselves on treating our customers the way they treat us, which leads to benefits for everyone in Artarmon.”




Notes to editors


  1. For further information on each local business featured in the campaign, please watch the campaign videos:
    1. Philosophy Australia:
    2. Salvage Speciality Coffee:
    3. SIBU Gallery:
    4. Finders Distillery:
    5. Tea Journal:


  1. Willoughby City Council welcomes interview requests from media, including for any of the businesses featured in the campaign. Please contact for further information.


  1. In addition to the short films promoting each businesses, Willoughby City Council is providing resources and support to local businesses, including access to networking opportunities and business knowledge-sharing workshops.

  2. Businesses interested in participating in the Support Local campaign should get in touch with Council and register their interest by visiting:


  1. Willoughby City Council's Gross Regional Product is estimated at $12.44 billion, which represents nearly 2% of the New South Wales Gross State Product.


  1. In 2023 there were over 13,000 local businesses registered in the Willoughby local area. The sector most represented was Professional, Scientific and Technical services (21.5%) followed by Rental, Hiring and Real Estate (15.9%)


  1. Council data shows that around $120 million a month ($1.4 billion p.a.) is spent by Willoughby residents outside the local area. Support Local aims to bring some of that spend back into the Willoughby LGA.


  1. For further information or enquiries please contact


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