This Christmas it’s more important than ever to shop local, with the COVID-19 pandemic decimating the livelihood of small businesses.

Christmas 2020 is about shopping and supporting local where possible.

Toowoomba woman, Kim Cahill, is a huge advocate of supporting local businesses and does so every day through her business and Facebook page Toowoomba and Darling Downs.

Toowoomba and Darling Downs focuses on connecting and celebrating the people, places, events, food and business of our region.

She said during the Christmas period and just in everyday life we should now thinking about shopping and supporting small businesses in our region.

Shop local in Toowoomba this Christmas,
Shop local in Toowoomba this Christmas," Margaret Street shop "Lilly and Wattle"

“So many small business owners are not surviving and have had to reinvent how they do things,” she said.

“They have really struggled so now is a time to show our support to them.

“The pandemic has bought things closer to home, pulling on our heart strings and our purse strings – the emotional attachment to each purchase.”

She said it wasn’t al bad news though.

“A lot of people are doing it tough, but a lot have recorded recording breaking sales during Covid,” she said.

“I think Covid has reminded us of our friends in business, to shop and support local.”

She said the pandemic had brought out a new direction, with business owners thinking outside the box.

Shop local in Toowoomba this Christmas, Kim Cahill (right) at
Shop local in Toowoomba this Christmas, Kim Cahill (right) at "Lilly and Wattle" with Amanda Harpur (left) and Siti Sharin.

“It’s brought out competitive pricing and even better customer service so if you want a locally made gift hamper you can now get it delivered to your door,” she said.

“Nearly everything can be delivered to you now and a lot of the time by the owner of the shop. More than ever people are wanting to shop local online, it opened a huge new market so get involved in locals’ Facebook pages and groups that support local.”

She said to think about going zero waste and offering experiences this Christmas instead of physical gifts such as massage and facial vouchers or tickets to the zoo or movies.

Lilly and Wattle is a new small business in Toowoomba, which was opened by three friends in September and like many businesses, they are hoping for a Christmas rush.

Shop local in Toowoomba this Christmas,
Shop local in Toowoomba this Christmas," Margaret Street shop "Lilly and Wattle"

Co-owner Siti Shahrin said the trio all had separate market stalls before coming together and opening a shop.

“We all had the idea of opening a store but finances got in the way, but it is much more manageable when we all put in together,” she said.

“So far the response has been lovely, people are coming in saying we have amazing and beautiful pieces.”

Mrs Shahrin said she encouraged people to look around town this Christmas while shopping and support small local businesses.

“We are at 188 Margaret St and there are some wonderful businesses surrounding us.

“It would be nice if people could make a day out of their Christmas shopping and walk around town, have a coffee and pop into all the little shops to see what we have to offer.”

Lilly and Wattle sells a range of homewares, baby and kids products, candles, tote bags, artwork, placemats and milestone boards.

Originally published as Toowoomba residents urged to shop local this Christmas


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