Mayor sets challenge to beat $50m spend this Christmas

With almost $50 million spent in the Southern Grampians Shire leading up to Christmas last year, locals are being encouraged to tick off their festive shopping list with local businesses again this year.

According to Spendmapp, $21.1 million was spent in November 2022 and $27.7 million was spent in December 2022 on goods and services in the shire as people bought gifts, stocked pantries and gathered to drink and dine.

Mayor Cr David Robertson said the top three areas of spend last year during that period were on gifts, dining and clothing.

“This proves that local traders are serious about providing consumers with the best possible selection of gifts and services,” he said. “We are very lucky to have such diverse offerings right here in our shire. We definitely play a significant role in attracting shoppers from outside of the region, too.”

Cr Robertson said residents should ask local shops for the item that they wanted before purchasing it online.

“Even if they don’t have something in the store, I am sure they would really appreciate the opportunity of sourcing it for you. And, if they can’t well, at least you gave them a go,” he said.

The Mayor reminded residents that shopping out of the district doesn’t always end up the cheaper option.

“Just remember there’s time out of your day, travel expenses or delivery costs,” he said. “There might also be a product warranty that needs to be backed up with a service, which can be inconvenient if bought out of the region or from overseas.”

Cr Robertson added that consumers had the choice of purchasing vouchers for different experiences in the region as well, such as winery tours, provedores and spa and wellness.

He also said that shopping local meant avoiding large crowds, busy car parks and a whole lot of stress.

“Wouldn’t it be nicer to take your time, browse our stores in Hamilton and our smaller towns and make a real day of it? With quality places to eat or grab a coffee, you can enjoy the Christmas atmosphere. Most importantly, you’ll be supporting local business owners with your spend.”

Spendmapp tracks spending habits and can identify local shoppers from visitors. The program can also identify purchases and shopping times.

“Spendmapp data is currently telling us that compared to other municipalities in the state, the Southern Grampians has a high rate of self-sufficiency economically, which is just brilliant,” Cr Robertson concluded.

The community is encouraged to also get behind Christmas activities planned for coming weeks.

Council has partnered with Hamilton Regional Business Association (HRBA) on a Christmas window display competition in Hamilton. Businesses can register their interest before November 14 with council’s Economic Development Support Officer Daniel Shaw on [email protected] or 0429 578 216. The winning business will be announced on December 13.

Council will also co-host HRBA’s ‘Rev up Gray’ on Friday 24 November from 6pm to 9pm, when cars, bikes and military vehicles will be on display in Gray Street and participating retail shops will be open late for trade.

/Public Release. View in full here.