Buying locally can surprise and is better for our economy

OH the joy of wedding planning … listening to stories of my friend planning for her big day, I was a little disappointed to hear that online shopping was her "new best friend".

Although, apparently "only for things that aren't in Gladstone".

I was happy to hear the other day that while shopping locally, she stumbled across the exact table decorations she was looking for, cheaper than online and with the support of some extremely helpful and genuine sales girls she was delighted with the purchase.

A survey of local people that was conducted as part of the Buy Local Roadshow indicated that 67% of people surveyed bought online or outside of the region.

The most common goods were clothing, automotive parts and shoes. I can understand the frustration of people not being able to source things they want in Gladstone and that prices can be "out of the market".

However, it is important to remember that just because one shop at one time didn't meet your needs, not all outlets are the same.

Of course online stores can offer cheaper products; they don't have the overheads of store locations and staffing.

Despite the negative talk, the support of local people is extremely important to our local business owners, who often stay awake at night thinking of ways to improve their business to meet the needs of local people.

So as local people who want to have good shops here, we need to give local businesses a go to meet our needs before we go online.

We also need to create demand by telling our local businesses what goods and services we want to see here.

I'll be keeping an eye out for more local bargains for the wedding to create the most perfect event of a lifetime and convince the bride to be to become a Buy Local shopper first.