As the region's business owners start to get back on their feet after more than a month behind closed doors, one Mudgee woman has started a movement to give local retailers a much needed boost.
Mudgee's Angela Fittler put the call out on social media last Sunday for people to spend their money locally this Christmas.
The movement encourages participants to purchase three items for an individual within their usual budget - something new, something preloved and something handmade.
"I always put an effort into gift buying, the gifts I give always have a personal touch and I shop local," Mrs Fittler said.
"This is a concept I have used for years and once you start thinking about it, it's easy.
"You can find some amazing things when you're looking for something preloved and when shopping at op-shops, you know your purchase goes toward helping those in need within our local community who struggle through the festive period. It's a win, win.
"There are so many things you can make with local produce, from cakes and cookies to home brew or ready made cocktails. The options for homemade gifts are endless."
As owner of The Inside Shop for the past seven and a half years, Donna Hughes knows all too well the challenges faced by local businesses and has therefore rallied behind Mrs Fittler's movement.
I think it's a really good idea because particularly after the lockdowns, we need locals to support us, to keep us in business and our doors open.- The Inside Shop owner, Donna Hughes
"We've had it tough for eight weeks with not much income so this is a great idea for people to realise that the businesses here need to be supported first and foremost."
While the temptation to shop online remains, Mrs Fittler is encouraging buyers to pick quality items over mass-produced products.
"There is always going to be the temptation to hit the online button, but try and steer away from the big guys who have already done really well through lockdown and focus it back on local retailers," Mrs Fittler said.
"The local retailers, I find, stock quality over quantity. Resist the temptation to purchase something that may end up in landfill and just buy something smaller that's quality."
"People are paranoid about shopping online because they may not get their delivery in time, whereas if you shop local you can guarantee that you'll walk into the shop and walk right out with the item," Ms Hughes added.
For those who don't consider themselves talented when it comes to wrapping presents, gift wrapping is an option at a collection of local retailers for purchased items.
Mrs Fittler is currently in the process of creating a Facebook page for the movement which is anticipated to go live shortly.
"It will be a place for people to share some ideas and inspiration. They can post things they've made, found or even recipes," she said.
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