People urged to buy locally in October

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There is no better way to show your love for where you live than to shop locally.

Retailers are the backbone of any community and in Oamaru they are joining forces for a new campaign called “Shoptober”.

Organised by the Oamaru Business Collective, more than 40 businesses – from Torridge to Wansbeck Sts – are taking part in the campaign to encourage the community to shop local.

Launching on October 3, the businesses involved are all opening until 8pm and putting on in-store specials, activities and events to celebrate.

“What I love about it is it’s not just Thames St – it runs from Whitestone Cheese, down Ribble St, down Thames St, into Tees, Tyne and Harbour St to Scotts Brewery,” organiser Annabel Berry said.

“It’s for everyone. We’re not just focused on one area – it’s for the whole town.”

The Oamaru Business Collective is encouraging families to bring their children to town, park up and spend time visiting several shops on October 3.

“They’ll be rewarded for that because people will be having different things happening in store, which is really fun.”

Rebellious Rose is holding pop-up photo sessions and Design Federation has organised face painting for children.

Mrs Berry is challenging the Oamaru community to only shop locally for the month of October.

“No matter what you need to buy, shop local first. Give town a try – get out there and support your local economy,” Mrs Berry said.

“Instead of giving money to a faceless multinational online, make an effort to come to town [and] support local businesses.

“What you get here is you get that personal service. It’s all about that relationship.”

The Oamaru Business Collective was formed to provide a united voice for the North Otago business community.

Shoptober is the first of several upcoming campaigns in the lead-up to Christmas.

Since the group’s formation, the energy of retailers had changed, Mrs Berry said.

“[We’re] seeing a real lift in energy and enthusiasm – people are really enjoying the concept of working together.

“I think we’ve got a bright future if we continue that.”