Parkes Shire Council and the Parkes Chamber of Commerce have teamed up to deliver the annual Christmas Shop Parkes campaign, which launched in late November.

Running right up until Christmas, the campaign will focus on the diverse retail and service offerings of the Parkes Shire, and the benefits that shopping local has on our community, especially following years of drought and now COVID-19.

Council's Economic & Business Development Manager Anna Wyllie said, "After years of drought and now COVID-19, 2021 has been another challenging year for us all. Through the Christmas Shop Parkes campaign, we're able to continue supporting each other by keeping our shopping dollars locally, benefiting the wider community."

"With many of our traditional Christmas events and gatherings cancelled this year due to COVID restrictions, we hope to still create a festive atmosphere through a range of lighting activations and by encouraging our local business operators to decorate their shopfronts."

The campaign's call to action is to 'Give the community a gift this Christmas and shop local.'

Key messages supporting the campaign will be devised around the value of expenditure locally, both direct and indirect and how keeping your shopping dollars locals benefit the wider community.

A campaign page has been established on www.visitparkes.com.au and will be the go-to hub for a range of gifting ideas from local stores throughout Parkes Shire.

For those hard to buy for friends and family, a Shop Parkes Gift Card is the perfect gifting solution - as little as $1 to as much as $1000 can be loaded onto a single gift card which is valid for 3 years and can be spent in multiple transactions across over 80 participating stores in Parkes Shire.

"We have also launched our 12 Days of Christmas competition. Throughout the competition, Council and the Parkes Business Chamber are giving away 12 x $100 Shop Parkes Gift Cards every day from the 1 December through until the 12 December.

"The competition encourages locals to shop locally and visitors to spend within the Parkes Shire. Entering is easy, simply spend $10 or more in any Parkes Shire business, scan the QR code in store or online, and enter your contact details to go in the draw to win," said Mrs Wyllie.

Parkes Chamber of Commerce President Geoff Rice said, "We are inviting all businesses to participate in the campaign which is absolutely free. There are many ways to get involved from sharing your product ideas and tagging @shopparkes on social media, to becoming a load or redeem store for the Shop Parkes Gift Cards."

Since the program launched in December 2018, over $337,000 has been loaded to the gift cards and $265,000 has been redeemed at local stores within the Parkes Shire, leaving $71,403 ready to be spent within the redemption stores.

"If you want to take advantage of this expenditure, you need to register as a redemption store by contact Council's Economic Development team on 02 6861 2333," said Mr Rice.