We are well and truly in the lead up to the Christmas and holiday season.
If you're anything like me, though, then you still have a lot of shopping to do, have no idea what you are cooking for Christmas Day and didn't get organised to book a holiday this summer!
Fortunately, we have businesses in Parkes and right across Western NSW to help you get sorted by Christmas and holiday in your own backyard this summer.
Each year, as the region's peak business organisation, we encourage you to shop and buy local at Christmas, but this year it is particularly crucial to support your local businesses.
We've all had a pretty tough couple of years, but by making a conscious effort to think and buy local first, you are helping to make sure these businesses remain in our communities for the long term.
Shopping online definitely makes it easier at Christmas time, but the large overseas retailers don't need to be your first port of call.
Our local retailers offer online shopping, competitive prices, click and collect and they can deliver or post your items to you.
Often they source more unique or handcrafted items and will offer a personalised service to find you that perfect gift.
Most of our local businesses chambers and local councils run Shop Local programs - like Parkes does - as well as Street Christmas fairs and markets.
These local programs often offer gift cards that are to be used at local participating stores. So these gift cards are perfect for family, friends and staff Christmas gifts!
In Parkes, you can find further information at https://visitparkes.com.au/shop-and-eat/shop-parkes-gift-cards.
When it comes to Christmas meals, there are so many good options locally.
Check out your local Christmas and farmers markets for local produce and don't forget to speak to your butcher about a ham or turkey. Local cafes, bakeries and restaurants are offering pre-cooked meal options, plus there are so many new businesses offering grazing boxes and platters locally.
And whilst there are reports of imported champagne shortages in Australia, this won't affect us as we have plenty of sparkling wine options from Orange, Cowra, Canowindra and Mudgee, as well as local craft beer, spirits and ciders.
For those of us who didn't book a holiday, now is time to use those Dine and Discover vouchers.
There are amazing restaurants, cafes, wineries, experiences and attractions right across Western NSW and it's worth planning a number of days trips to explore, taste and sip what our region has to offer!
Imagine the difference it would make to our communities if we all made the conscious effort to support our local businesses, producers and suppliers - so please, support your local business this holiday season.
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