darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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November 22, 2013

The best gift you can give a young Gippslander this Christmas is the chance of getting a job in the region – that’s the message from local MPs Darren Chester and Russell Northe.

Mr Chester and Mr Northe today met with Aussie Disposals Traralgon owner Steve Asmussen to reiterate the importance of shopping locally this Christmas.

Both MPs have been running a ‘Putting Locals First’ campaign over the past five years, encouraging residents to shop locally and utilise local contractors and tradesmen.

Mr Chester said there had been a surge in the interest of shopping locally following the Shop Small campaign launched by Prime Minister Tony Abbott this month, last month’s ‘Support Small Business Day’ organised by the Victorian Coalition Government and the ongoing ‘Too Big To Ignore’ campaign, run by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“There has definitely been a focus from government and industry over the past 12 months to encourage more people to support local small businesses and it has also highlighted the benefits that this can provide to the broader community,” Mr Chester said.

“During the festive season the message is even more important – before you fill up the car up and head to a Melbourne shopping centre, take a closer look at what’s available in our community. Our region has a wide range of outstanding and innovative business owners and Christmas is the perfect time to give them a chance to impress.”

Mr Northe, the Victorian Coalition Government’s Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business, said supporting small businesses helped them remain competitive.

“Shopping locally or utilising local tradesmen and contractors retains a strong small business sector and helps to create jobs and opportunities for young people to have a future in the Latrobe Valley,” Mr Northe said.

“When you spend money locally it also flows right through the community also providing support and sponsorship for our community and sporting groups.

Mr Asmussen said local businesses were keen to assist and provide choice for customers.

“Competition is tough but we are always striving to get the best deal for customers and we have a wide range of stock available this Christmas,” Mr Asmussen said.

“Spending money locally, keeps money locally. It’s simple – support the people who support you.”

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