We should do everything we can to support Mandurah businesses this season

EDITORIAL: Mandurah small businesses are working hard to keep the community going

EDITORIAL

It's December 16, almost certainly too late to order a gift online with any guarantee it will arrive in time for Christmas.

And travelling anywhere involving borders is still beyond the pale this year.

This could be as good a time as any to keep it local, and mindfully so.

Stay local, eat local, shop local - each of these acts will be helping Mandurah's flagging economy.

Many of us have spent most of the time of border closures in our own state and mostly our own suburbs, dreaming of a time when we can leave, freely.

We've been exploring beyond our own suburbs and comfortable little communities, and seeing what so many of Western Australia's small businesses have to offer.

For the vast majority of us, online shopping is a modern convenience that is here to stay, and has broadened our horizons immeasurably when it comes to the way we consume almost anything.

And for a good many of us, it's got to the point that wandering into a local shop and emerging with a purchase feels downright quaint, especially with the looming panic of Christmas.

But it shouldn't. Our local shops and businesses are where our money should be directed right now.

Our local economy anticipates a rush every year, but with border restrictions and so much uncertainty, not one business is taking its local customers for granted this time around.

Many local art and craft shops broaden their ranges, and local makers work overtime as a matter of course at this time of year to give shoppers more inspiration for gifts, and this year is no different.

With yet another summer of no extensive travel, there's no better time to sample the Peel region's burgeoning - and strangely eclectic - restaurant scene, much of which is tucked away, gem-like, in suburban shopping centres.

Buying, eating and staying local also means keeping more Mandurah residents employed.

It's not something most of us think too deeply about when we scroll through untold millions of online offerings and fork over money to the likes of Amazon.

COVID has made the world feel, at times, both smaller and larger, as we've all been beset by a common enemy even as our own worlds have shrunk down to a small inner circle.

But it's this sense of community that has perhaps been missing in the years leading up to COVID.

Many have forgotten how much is happening in their own suburb, how many small businesses are working hard to keep the community going, and how many of us appreciate their presence.

So, art, jewellery, homewares, prints, books, fancy wine, locally-made chocolate, or even a restaurant voucher - any of these are readily available at several places around town.

It's a new world, filled with old-world traditions and comforts. Let's take the best of what Mandurah has to offer us this season.

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