Remember to shop Latrobe

MORWELL beauty salon owner Lauren Gill said the community needed to make a conscious effort to shop locally this Christmas.

The Advance Morwell local traders sub-committee member said she trialled doing all of her Christmas shopping locally for the first time last year and would encourage others to do the same.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re shopping for males, females, mum and dad, girls and boys or uncles and aunties; I managed to do my entire Christmas shopping between Morwell, Traralgon and Moe,” Ms Gill said.

Ms Gill said many of her friends told her they had made plans to travel to Melbourne for their Christmas shopping.

“There is so much locally when people get out there and have a look. When I made the decision to support local, the hardest thing was to decide what to get everybody,” she said.

“There’s always an alternative to shop locally.”

The traders association also believes local prices and services were competitive with online or metropolitan outlets, with many Gippsland businesses currently offering sales.

Ms Gill said she did not feel she had paid more to shop locally and saved on fuel by not travelling outside the Valley.

“If people are looking for a bargain, businesses are willing to participate in sales. For a lot of businesses, this is their busiest time of year,” she said.

The beauty shop owner said each Christmas season could make a big difference to retailers next financial year.

“Get to know what’s around and recommend shops to others,” Ms Gill said.

“Eventually there aren’t going to be as many businesses to shop locally, so make the conscious effort and support them,” she said.

Gift shop owner, and fellow Advance Morwell member, Ruth Codlin said Morwell was a small shopping precinct, but offered a good range of quality products.

Ms Codlin said products were also less mainstream, more unique, and just a “little bit different”.

“It’s like shopping in Brunswick, it’s not as boutique, but there’s a strong community that tries to shop locally and traders make a concerted effort for locals,” she said.