Muswellbrook residents encouraged to fill Christmas shopping lists in town

BUY LOCAL: Lorraine Skinner, Mike Kelly and Ross Peasley encourage locals to shop locally this Christmas. The three are the treasurer, president and vice president of Muswellbrook Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

BUY LOCAL: Lorraine Skinner, Mike Kelly and Ross Peasley encourage locals to shop locally this Christmas. The three are the treasurer, president and vice president of Muswellbrook Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

MUSWELLBROOK Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) president Mike Kelly wants the majority of everyone’s Christmas shopping done in town, imploring locals to realise how much is actually available and the importance of supporting local businesses that employ local people.

“When you look at your shopping list, look in town first,” Mr Kelly said.

“You can buy toys for the grandkids and chocolates for the wife, power tools from the local hardware stores, electronic gadgets, car care products and of course jewellery.”

MCCI treasurer Lorraine Skinner is giving her loved ones some outdoor furniture (sorry to ruin the surprise) purchased locally and also suggests gift vouchers as good presents.

“What about gift vouchers from local hairdressers, beauty salons and gift shops, then there are homewares, CDs and books, gardening equipment and plants all available from around town,” Mrs Skinner said. 

Other ideas include locally-made cheeses, olives and wine – or a combination of all three in a hamper. 

“It is also worth remembering that Christmas is a time when we should think about those in the community who are less fortunate,” Mr Kelly said.

“Local charities run food and toy appeals at Christmas time and we can all make a donation of something we bought locally.”

MCCI launched its Buy Local – Sell Local campaign in October and Mr Kelly said while the idea of promoting a “buy locally” strategy wasn’t new, it had become much more of a focus for the chamber in recent years. 

“MCCI also wants to encourage the cooperation of large businesses and authorities to ensure tendering and quoting opportunities are given to local suppliers and contractors,” he said.

“Our major mining companies, council, power generators and public service organisations all have a strong commitment to local procurement and employment.

“Some have rewards schemes for employees in the form of gift cards redeemable at local businesses. 

“The chamber congratulates all businesses who do their best to trade locally and wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and a New Year that is prosperous for the whole of the local economy.”