THINK LOCAL: Startup Gladstone's Luis Arroyo and Gladstone Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Joe Smith.
THINK LOCAL: Startup Gladstone's Luis Arroyo and Gladstone Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Joe Smith. Matt Taylor GLA151018BIZF

Holiday shopping a chance to give back to your city

WITH Christmas around the corner, residents are reminded of why they should support local businesses.

Gladstone Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Joe Smith said there was an obvious increase in spending during the holiday season and this provided an easy opportunity to put money back into the Gladstone economy.

"It does have a compound effect ... a huge effect to be honest, putting the money back into local businesses,” Mr Smith said.

"They're the ones that support the local community, groups and sporting organisations via sponsorships and volunteering.”

"And if we can support local businesses hopefully we can also attract other businesses to open so shoppers would have more choice.”

Mr Smith said buying locally could also help the city's job shortage by creating employment opportunities.

He said anecdotal discussions revealed consumer support had increased in recent years, with "more confidence in the local market”.

"That may be why people are spending a little bit more money in general,” Mr Smith said.

"But with online competitors like Amazon coming in, it does make it difficult.”

He said it was "always worth asking” store owners if they would be willing to price-match because buying online meant factoring in delivery costs and did not always result in a cheaper purchase.

Hidden Wardrobe boutique owner Tania Hempseed said working in retail revealed the various benefits of shopping in-store.

"Obviously you can try it on, especially if you're not a standard body type,” Ms Hempseed said.

"Shopping online, there's a lot of dramas if you need to send something back or it doesn't fit.

"You've probably seen those Facebook ads where you see the lady dressed in this beautiful dress and then you get it at home and it looks pretty ordinary or not as nice.”

Ms Hempseed said online shopping also lacked the option of face-to-face consults with professionals and the ability to get answers quickly about the product.

"You have your professional people in stores that can put outfits together and style people and I think that a lot of people really enjoy that side of it,” she said.