Reason to ‘shop local’ this Christmas is simple

This Christmas, give the gift of an increased economy by shopping locally.

That’s the message from the Mudgee Chamber of Commerce with the launch of the Mudgee Money gift card initiative, which aims to keep Christmas dollars in the region.

The cards are now available at participating stores – including Mudgee’s homewares and gift store, Whatever. Shop owner Brooke Ellery is a ‘load up store’ and has described the initiative as ‘fantastic’.

“Mudgee is growing from strength to strength, but I think people also do the who ‘we’re going to Sydney to do our Christmas shopping’ or shopping online,” she said. “So, I think the incentive to make people shop here is important.”

“Mudgee has amazing boutiques and shops, we’re very lucky, but we won’t all be here if people don’t support us.”

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Western NSW Business Chamber regional manager Vicki Seccombe agrees, saying the reason to ‘shop local’ is simple.

“If we don’t support our local businesses, then they will cease to exist and we will no longer have access to those products or services,” she said.

“Small business employs over 60 per cent of the Australian workforce, so you are supporting Mudgee’s small businesses to provide jobs locally.

“Imagine the difference it would make to our communities if we all made the conscious effort to support our local businesses, producers and suppliers.”

Retailers are facing new and fierce competition after global e-commerce giant Amazon launched in Australia on Tuesday.

But Brooke has shown confidence in her bricks and mortar store by recently relocating to a larger premises (the old Commonwealth Bank building on Church Street).

“It was a huge amount of thought and process – sleepless nights on making the decision because it was a big move – but once we made the decision, it was all hands on deck,” she said.

The full transformation took around eight weeks in total, but she says it was worth it.

“I think Mudgee is amazing and even when tourists come they say it’s a special town, I always say there is a soul about it, and we’re very blessed.”