I made a trip to Comur Street last Thursday evening to have a look at how the late-night Christmas shopping event was going.
Things I had heard already had me concerned that it was likely to be a non event.
My suspicions were confirmed. Rotarians were doing their best to enliven things, with the Rotary ham wheel. A few stores had tried to muster some excitement but on the whole the street was quiet. Shoppers were few and far between.
This is potentially a disaster for local traders, as Christmas is for many the most important retail period of the year.
It’s easy to focus blame on the Chamber of Commerce or retailers who haven’t thought about promotion until late in the piece.
But good on Pam Staines, of Full Circle Serenity, for taking a positive approach and pulling out all the stops to bring back Christmas to Comur Street.
A discussion on the Tribune’s Facebook page this week shows that there are Yass residents who don’t see the importance of shopping locally. Or even if they do, they find the convenience and competitive pricing of online shopping much more appealing. Others are happy to traipse around Canberra shopping centres to find more variety.
But this ignores the bigger picture. If we don’t support local business, we won’t have any local business in the future.
If everyone in Yass allocates even a portion of their Christmas spend for local shops, our town will be better off.
The Trib will be there on Thursday night – we hope to see you there.
Our last paper for 2012 will be this Friday. The Tribune team then take a well-earned break but we will be back with a news-packed edition on January 4. In the intervening period, you can check our website for news updates, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
I wish all our readers and advertisers a safe and happy festive season - and encourage you all to drive safely and stay out of the news.