Shop, dine and support local

We all love our local neighbourhoods – the shops and services we need are close by, they are easy to get to and we see friendly, familiar faces. Plus, a strong local economy is important for fostering a sense of community and keeping our neighbourhoods vibrant.

As many local businesses re-open, let’s support our fellow locals the best we can – they need it now more than ever. Below are some of the new exciting ways you can support local and help to bring the vibrancy back to the streets of Boroondara that we all know and love!

Outdoor tables and chairs sheltered by large umbrellas on a sunny day. In the background the clocktower of Hawthorn Arts Centre can be seen.


It’s now easier than ever to shop and support local Boroondara businesses with the new Love Local Life online directory.

With over 53 shopping strips and more than 5,500 businesses across our neighbourhoods, you can find all your favourite products and services by simply exploring

Many businesses have also adapted under the current circumstances to offer a variety of COVIDsafe options, including click and collect, contactless delivery, outdoor dining and more. The Love Local Life directory allows you to find businesses offering the services that suit you best.

Local businesses need all the help they can get right now, so it’s great to have a new platform like Love Local Life to connect with the community.

Business owners are also excited to be joining the Love Local Life community and are embracing the new free platform to promote their businesses.

“As a new business, established at the beginning of 2020, it’s been quite a year,” said Paolo Tommasini, Director of Co.Lab AV Productions in Kew.

Remember – love local, live local, and shop local whenever you can:

Dine alfresco

We’ve partnered with local businesses and trader associations to enable more outdoor dining across Boroondara by fast tracking permit applications and waiving all permit fees to help local businesses get back into action quickly and safely. You can now enjoy extended outdoor dining space at some of your favourite local restaurants, cafes and bars, on footpaths, businesses’ private land (like courtyards), and public spaces (such as civic squares and parks).

We’ve supported businesses to create more outdoor dining opportunities in some car parking bays by installing ‘parklets’ – temporary spaces to accommodate customers made safe by fencing, traffic safety barriers and planters.

Michael Koutroulis, owner and manager of Santoni in Hawthorn – one of many businesses taking advantage of more outdoor dining – is grateful for the opportunity to extend their trading space to accommodate more customers. “It has been a much needed lifeline. To be able to serve customers and keep everyone safe is great,” he said.

Since businesses were allowed to reopen their doors for COVIDSafe dining, the community response has been incredibly positive. “After being through such a hard year, it’s great to see our community relax and make up for lost time in a safe setting,” Michael said. “It is just great that out of such a dark year, we are all coming together to help each other in new innovative ways, which benefit the community as a whole.”