Local Stories

Patrick, Owner, Puma Coolalinga

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Say G’day to Patrick, the owner of Puma Petrol and Convenience store all the way up in sunny Coolalinga. Pat and the rest of New Sunrise Group have had a busy year and have partnered with the GO LOCAL FIRST campaign to run the Local Legends’ Lunch, which gave Australian’s the chance to win $1000 worth of fuel!

When the pandemic first hit, Pat and the team initially saw a decline in both customer numbers and sales, as waves of uncertainty hit the Territory and people tightened their purse strings. Thankfully, they were spared from the harshest lockdowns which allowed them to bounce back really strongly in the latter half of the year.

While business was slow, Pat took the time to invest back into the business and diversify what they had in store. Most importantly, they focused on getting their business name out there in the community and made a big push to highlight that they’re a locally owned and operated business.

To do this, they made sure their entire fuel and shop offerings are directly relevant to their NT local customer base, as well as increasing their social media presence and putting up local signage.

Although they didn’t go through major lockdowns like other states, Pat is deeply thankfully for the customer support throughout the period of restrictions – he says it was really amazing to see how their locals came together and backed the store.

As a core part of his local community, Pat has made sure to give back throughout the year. In April, they ran a fundraiser for Beyond Blue which raised over $1,300 for the charity, and also donating to the special needs kids Christmas party, along with supporting their local sports clubs through donations and merchandise.

Pat and the whole of the New Sunrise Group are fantastic ambassadors for small local businesses. Make sure to GO LOCAL FIRST whenever you can, and keep an eye out for the next Local Legends’ Lunch!

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