Shop locally to keep jobs in the community, says retail sector

SHOP locally, otherwise the long-term impact to Ballarat will be huge. 

These are the stern words coming from the retail sector this Christmas.

Commerce Ballarat executive officer Jodie Gillett said while businesses seemed to be going well this Christmas period, supporting local business was crucial to Ballarat’s future. 

“The long-terms costs to the city and our future are just too high to count. 

“The reasons for shopping local are so wide and so varied but I constantly come back to the fact that if you don’t have business in Ballarat, then you don’t have jobs and everybody wants to have jobs. 

“They want their kids to have jobs, they want their families to have jobs and that is what business provides. 

“So if you are shopping out of town, you a losing someone, whether it be hours or an actual position.” 

The Commerce Ballarat Buy Local campaign was one way of reminding the public of how important local shopping was. 

“I am not sure if the products you buy out of town will be any cheaper or any better quality. Sometimes there is something you just can’t get in Ballarat, but what we say is ‘try and buy local’,” she said. 

Studio G.A.S owner Josie Sangster said it was important for shoppers to be thinking about the future when they headed out to do their Christmas shopping. 

“Buy locally. Try and do as little online as possible, because if retailers don’t have a good Christmas and a lot of them aren’t – a lot of them are squealing – if they don’t put in a good Christmas, then their future is in jeopardy,” she said. 

“So try and do as much locally as you can, because the next time you want something, that trader might not be there.”

Ms Sangster said some items were not having as big an impact as others from online shopping, especially footwear. Ms Sangster said she decorated her store to draw more attention from shoppers. 

“I don’t have the footpath traffic that Sturt Street has, so I have to do my luring on a larger scale,” she said.  “I have to make myself known and make myself festive.”

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