Dear Editor,

The Small Business Festival kicked off across Victoria this month, which is a good reminder for everyone to think local and shop local to support our many wonderful local businesses and employment opportunities. Shopping locally helps boost the fortunes of local businesses which in turn means they have more money to spend on local goods and services.

The Lowan electorate has many fantastic businesses, and it is great when people do their best to support them by shopping in town, rather than online or elsewhere. Local businesses can provide the quality face-toface service that customers value and there are often added benefits to supporting your town by shopping locally.

Simple but important extras such as free advice, free delivery and good old fashioned customer service are thrown in, to reward loyal customers. Both big and small local businesses play an important role within our rural communities by providing employment, sponsorship and many other flow-on benefits, which all help to keep our money local and improve our local areas. Everyone benefits when we all make an effort to think local and shop local.

Yours, Emma Kealy Member for Lowan.