Give the gift of something local

CHAMBER of commerce bosses are urging people to give the gift of a local tradie this Christmas.

Noosa chamber president Carl Beck said instead of buying something online from overseas, people should be seeking out vouchers for services offered locally to give our economy a lift.

And it's a sentiment strongly echoed by Sunshine Coast Chamber Alliance chair Myles McNamara.

"It's time to think outside the square," Mr Beck said.

"Why not give people a voucher to have their lawn mowed, their pool cleaned, or a massage, a haircut, dinner for two, a handyman for a day, gym membership...there's a gazillion things you could think of and it would be a great present.

"I am trying to encourage people to use small business so that they make Christmas good for everyone."

Mr Beck said he was practising what he preached this year.

"I haven't got a big family, it's more for friends; so a friend of mine's got a pool and I will get a guy to go in and clean it.

"Someone else will get their lawns done.

"It might sound lame, but it's a very nice gesture.

"And if people were to jump on board, I reckon it would make a huge difference.

"Everybody is aware things are tough, so they'd be more than happy to help look after a small business person by using a voucher system for a Christmas present."

Mr McNamara, leader of the body representing most of the Coast's chambers, said it was a great idea.

"It has two positive impacts. Firstly, the direct financial benefit but also the great culture it creates throughout the business community," he said.

"Definitely there are cheaper goods available online, but what you can't get online is good customer service and you can't buy the range of services online you can get locally."

Both men reported an upbeat outlook for the festive retail season and beyond.

"We had our Christmas break-up last week and while everyone was talking about the overseas situation, no one was doom and gloom," Mr Beck said.

"If the weather stays reasonable, I think we'll have good year this year, in the scheme of things. Better than last year, anyway."

Mr McNamara said: "The first three weeks of trade seem to be quite good, and there seems to be quite a good buoyancy around next year.

"We've had two reductions in interest rates, that always helps, but people are seeing that we've come through a very difficult few years. A lot of businesses are trying to innovate and get hold of the benefits of the mining boom. It's been a good generational change of business mindset on the Sunshine Coast."

Five things to do this week

Five things to do this week

See what is happening around Noosa this week.

What's on the big screen

What's on the big screen

Catch the latest blockbusters at Noosa Cinemas

Flying West Coffee Roasters making a name down south

Flying West Coffee Roasters making a name down south

Flying West wins interstate customers