Council in partnership with the Parkes Chamber of Commerce delivered the 2021 Shop Parkes Christmas campaign from late November to the 31 December. The campaign predominantly focused on promoting the benefits shopping local has on our community, especially after a most challenging year for local retailers.

The campaign also aimed to decrease the need or desire to shop online and reduce expenditure outside the region.

Parkes Shire Mayor Cr Ken Keith OAM said, "Following years of drought, a mouse plague and the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 was an extremely challenging year for all of us, particularly our local business community. Through delivering the Christmas campaign we’re able to continue supporting each other by keeping our shopping dollars locally, benefiting the wider community.

“It was so pleasing to see such strong business participation across the Parkes Shire with over 40 stores actively engaging with the campaign, over 100 businesses promoting the campaign in-store, and an increase in Shop Parkes Gift Card redemption stores, as a result of the campaign.

“Most of our traditional Christmas events and gatherings were cancelled in 2021 due to COVID restrictions however we were still able to create a festive atmosphere through a range of lighting activations, late night shopping and encouraging our local business operators to decorate their shopfronts," said Cr Keith.

The campaign included a 12 Days of Christmas Competition encouraging spend within the Parkes Shire over the first 12 days of December to go in the draw to win 1 of 12 $100 Shop Parkes Gift Cards. This campaign was a huge success with over 241 entrants, 44 active redemption stores and 56 entries from residents outside the Parkes Shire.

One of the other ways local businesses were invited to participate in the campaign, was to dress up their shop window with festive lights and gift ideas. Parkes Shire Councillor Bill Jayet judged the competition and was pleased to announce Terry Bros Parkes as the winner, for a second year in a row. Special mentions went to Colouby Creations, Ron Dunford Chemist, The Red Chandelier and Parkes News & Gifts.

Cr Jayet said, "Please continue to support our incredible local businesses throughout the year, particularly as we still face many challenges and pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Shop Parkes Gift Cards are the perfect gift all year round for that hard to buy for friend, family member or colleague. They also provide a great solution for organisation gifts and staff incentives. There is no cost for the card and gift cards can be spent at over 100 participating businesses in the Parkes Shire," added Cr Jayet.

Are you a local business who would like to be involved? Contact the friendly team at Parkes Shire Council to find out more shop@parkes.nsw.gov.au.