With Ballarat businesses losing yet another important weekend due to lockdowns, this time Father's Day, the community is being encouraged to shop local this weekend.
Commerce Ballarat has launched a Father's Day promotion calling on Ballarat residents to treat their fathers, support local businesses and potentially win prizes.
The businesses advocacy group has also put together a list of hospitality venues providing special menus and boxes for the Father's Day weekend.
To enter the competition, people need to post a picture of themselves or their father enjoying something local, name the business, tag Commerce Ballarat and use the hashtag #TreatBallaratDads.
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Prizes include a golf package for four, a local craft beer, wine and gin pack, annual passes to Sovereign Hill and the Ballarat Wildlife Park and family passes to 1000 Doors and the Ballarat International Foto Biennale.
The Western Hotel's special offerings include an 'old school' grazing box and takeaway growlers.Owner- manager Dan Cronin said it was hard to lose one of the pub's biggest days of the year.
"It's really important for people at the moment, whilst they have to stay physically apart, to keep connected through through meals, through getting together and it's a very much a family day but, unfortunately, families can't get together," he said.
"We rely so heavily on our community, we rely on tourism and visitors to Ballarat, and when we don't have that, we really rely on our locals and our locals have just been phenomenal.
"The support for people buying meals, getting meals, getting takeaway food and also the support online and the encouragement has just made a difference."
Commerce Ballarat chief executive Jodie Gillett said she hoped the promotion would help stimulate local spending and encourage the community to think about where every dollar goes.
"It seems like COVID chooses the worst times to hit, these milestone days are just so important for retail and hospitality. It's going to be a tough one, so we need to try and make it the best we can," she said.
"It's not just about the spending and we know there are a lot of people out there who are doing it really tough right now, it just gives people a sense of togetherness and it helps our businesses to feel supported by our community.
"The Ballarat community's pretty amazing and they've done an incredible job over the last 18 months and we're just asking those that can to continue to do so.
"When you purchase a meal, you're not supporting just that hospitality venue, you're supporting their staff, the growers, the producers, the suppliers and their staff."
More information about the promotion and Ballarat's Father's Day offerings can be found on the Commerce Ballarat website.
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