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Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester is a staunch advocate for small business and promotes the importance of shopping locally at every opportunity. So he couldn’t go past this sign displayed out front of Van Berkel florist in Main Street, Bairnsdale. The sign reads: “Small business is kind of a BIG deal! Shop local and support small business.”   Pictured with shop owner Shanie Melbourne, Mr Chester added some extra encouragement: “every time you shop locally you’re helping to create local jobs, so please take the time to try and source your items locally at every opportunity.”  He said small businesses are the backbone of regional economies and are the first point of call to sponsor local events and sporting clubs.  “Local shoppers need to help these business to thrive so that they can, in turn, support community groups and local events,” he said.

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