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Gippslanders are being called on to support local businesses and producers this Christmas to help create more local jobs.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has challenged the community to buy local produce and gifts from local stores.

Mr Chester said it was important Gippslanders put locals first by supporting local business at every opportunity.

“Gippsland is home to some of the finest food and wine in the world. My Christmas challenge to Gippslanders is to support local producers and businesses,” Mr Chester said.

“From turkeys, ham and seafood to fine wine and beer – it’s all produced locally and perfect for the festive season.

“The small business sector is one of the largest employers in regional areas like Gippsland. This sector relies on owners having confidence to continue investing in our region.

“Local shops employ local people. The best present you can give a young Gippslander is a chance to get a job in our region by shopping locally and hiring local tradies whenever possible.

“Importantly, local businesses are also called on to sponsor community and sporting organisations and local events, which create opportunities for our region.

“I urge everyone to think twice before spending money out of town and look at ways to support local business at every opportunity.”

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