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light up to bring cheer

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas — and shoppers will be enticed into Margaret River with stellar promotions co-ordinated by the local Chamber of Commerce.

Late-night trading returns to the CBD next Friday in time for Christmas lights to bring a little cheer for traders hoping to make the most of this summer before the main street redevelopment kicks off in February.

The promotion comes as the chamber — with a little help from the Times — gears up for its Christmas shopfront decoration competition, and a “secret Santa” with a difference via the chamber’s Facebook page and @margaretrivercci Instagram account.

Chamber president Melissa d’Ath said a “Christmas taskforce” recently convened to brainstorm local promotions for the sake of main street traders, backed by the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River.

“We have been collecting funds to light up the trees on the main street and encouraging businesses to decorate their windows for the holiday by offering some great prizes,” she said.

“We are hoping all the CBD businesses jump on board for the window display and late-night shopping.

“This is about creating a stronger sense of community in town – not just a shopping event. A vibrant town centre reflects our strong community.”

More details on the store promotion and spot-the-Santa competition are online and on Page 11 in today’s Times. Next Friday, a certain bloke in a big red suit will visit early, courtesy of volunteer bush fire fighters, a goodwill tree will be erected to receive donated gifts, and local scouts will wrap gifts outside Target. Businesses are urged to sign up, and stay open.

Shire sustainable economy officer Saul Cresswell told the Times spending local would make “a real difference” to the Augusta-Margaret River shire economy.

“Money spent at a local business recirculates many times, resulting in more job opportunities, financial viability, and stability for local families, and a more interesting and diverse economy of local businesses,” he said.

“These businesses form an important part of our active and engaged community, donating to local charities, sponsoring events, and giving back in a way that distant boardrooms don’t.”

Mr Cresswell said there were also environmental benefits from reducing the distance gifts travelled, especially if buying locally-produced items.

The Shire was also walking the talk, with more than 50 per cent of purchases made with local suppliers.

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