OPINION - Think local, shop local at Christmas
AS THE holidays approach, the task of Christmas shopping becomes a priority on our to do lists.
It's time to start getting those hints from the kids, family or friends on suggestions or ideas for what they might like or the opportunity to find something yourself as a surprise and delight for a loved one.
This year let's try and refrain from making an online purchases and instead make a conscious effort to give a gift that has been produced locally or sold locally.
Whether it is, a present, a gift card or something made with love, make the commitment to consciously 'think local, shop local' and support the many local businesses that make up the fabric of our community.
This is all about supporting your home town businesses with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open
There are so many ways to achieve this and do think out of the box.
Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, locally owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.
Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like their gardens done, or lawn mowed for the summer, or games at the local golf course.
If you get stuck on what to buy, why not pick up a gift certificate - to give the recipient that extra choice why not pick up a centre branded gift card from your local shopping mall, most offer these and they can be redeemed in the majority of stores within the centre offering a wider selection and choice of where to redeem it.
Everyone gets their hair cut - how about gift certificates from your local hair salon or barber?
Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement or New Year's resolution.
There are many locally owner-run restaurants. Shout someone a weekend breakfast or that special dinner.
How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the local working guy?
Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mum? Mum would probably LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.
If you were looking for something more personal. Local artisans and crafts people make a vast array of items that can be brought from small studios or at the many markets throughout the Coffs Coast.
Do you have visitors coming to town or just looking for something to do? Then plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants or support some of the many local attractions we have in the region.
Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.
Think about Christmas being an opportunity to support and encourage small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about those around us in business, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine.
A REMINDER that the next Chamber breakfast is being held on Tuesday at the Coffs Harbour Golf Club.
Guest presenter is Peter McPherson, General Manager - Berry International, Costa Group.
Peter will present insights on Costa Group - Australia's largest produce business, the Australian Blueberry Industry - what does it mean to Coffs Region.
For bookings, contact the Coffs Harbour Chamber of Commerce on 6651 4101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.