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Don’t leave town – Oamaru has everything you need, right here.

Thirty-four Oamaru businesses have banded together to promote the advantages of supporting them in the Eat, Shop, Enjoy Oamaru promotion running until December 13. The businesses involved are giving customers chances to win three packages of gift vouchers worth $1000.

An entry form is given out for every $10 spent, and special “double entry days” will be shared around the businesses. Listen to Real Radio to find out which one has double points each day.

Entry forms and boxes are prominently displayed, and further information is available on Real Radio and in the Oamaru Mail

There are so many advantages to supporting local businesses – that’s why people from other towns and cities make day trips to Oamaru.

They can enjoy shopping at a wide array of unique stores, rather than the same old chain stores that line every other main street.

There is a vast array of items on offer, a lot of them available nowhere else.

Shoppers can browse in comfort, without the crowds of larger centres, and enjoy personal service from staff who believe in the products they sell.

In several cases the shopkeepers actually create the goods. This gives customers an opportunity to learn about the inspiration behind them, then buy gifts with the best back stories or items they will treasure themselves.

With Christmas coming up, everyone can have a leisurely shopping experience in the confidence they will find the perfect presents well ahead of the seasonal rush.

Another major advantage of shopping in Oamaru is the car parking. There is no need to cram into a jammed parking building, spend a fortune on parking fees, or hike to the shops from blocks away.

There are loads of parks close to all the shops, and fees are minimal or non-existent.

When you need a break, Oamaru has a great choice of tempting eateries and attractive parks in or close to the central business district.

The cafes serve award-winning coffee, innovative dishes showcasing the local produce, and pride themselves on friendly service in relaxing environments.

There is something to suit all tastes – literally. From a light snack all the way to a banquet at a gourmet destination, Oamaru caters for you.

It also offers superb streetscapes, seascapes, and landscapes in which to while away a little time, leaving you refreshed for the rest of your day.

“Investing in local businesses and people benefits everyone,” Oamaru Mail advertising manager Mark Julius says.

“Oamaru has got fantastic shopping. Use local businesses and services – we don’t want an empty main street.

“Both ourselves and Real Radio are local businesspeople. We rely on a healthy business environment.”

Real Radio Oamaru general manager Dan Lewis says it’s “really important” to support those who have invested in businesses here.

“It’s a real challenge as far as retail is concerned.

“If we lose one, we lose the lot.”

The business owners who have contributed columns in the Oamaru Mail in recent weeks have endorsed those comments. They are proud of setting up their enterprises here and hope everyone, especially local people, will reinforce their commitment to the local economy by being loyal customers.