Shoppers are being urged to buy local in the lead-up to Christmas.
Shoppers are being urged to buy local in the lead-up to Christmas. Contributed

GIFT OF SUPPORT: Call to keep dollars in town this Christmas

THE message this year in Proserpine in the lead-up to Christmas is "shop local", as community advocates say dollars spent in town benefit the whole region.

A top opportunity to back local businesses is tonight's Rotary Club Annual Christmas Fair, while a second project is also in the works to continue the support all year round.

Organisers are anticipating a few thousand people at tonight's event and are looking forward to "putting a smile on people's faces" and instilling some positivity in the business community.

It's a time to catch up with old friends, soak up the atmosphere and live music, and start Christmas shopping in earnest at the colourful market stalls and Main St shops.

"The Christmas Fair, which was absolutely packed last year, is to highlight the 'shop local' concept and to make people smile," organiser Jeff Boyle said.

"It definitely gives the town an economic boost, maybe not on the actual night but the next day people come into town and buy something.

"They might not want to carry it around on the night but potentially they can come back the next day - and they do from what businesses have told me."

Another organisation pushing the 'shop local' message is the Proserpine Chamber of Commerce, which is producing the Proserpine Shop Local Tourist Map & Guide 2020 in partnership with Tourism Whitsundays.

The new brochure will highlight the town's local businesses and attractions.

"If we can keep the money in the town, it's going to inevitably help everyone. We are trying to attract people to spend money in town and also come to the town as well," Proserpine Chamber of Commerce president Bob Bogie said.

"It doesn't matter where people spend the money because if they spend it in the community, it's a benefit - there has got to be a cash injection from somewhere."

Five thousand copies of the Proserpine Shop Local Tourist Map & Guide 2020 will be distributed through the Proserpine Visitor Information Centre, as well as the information centres in Airlie Beach, Proserpine and Bowen, at Whitsunday Coast Airport and through local businesses.

The brochure will have a map and key legend on one side for tourists and residents and advertise- ments for businesses.

The deadline for advertising is Friday, December 20, with the brochure printed in January.

The Rotary Club's Annual Christmas Fair starts at 6pm.

There will be food vendors, children's rides, live music, the Rotary Ham Wheel with Faust's IGA vouchers to give away, and a special visit from Santa Claus.