On Saturday 19th December 2020 our reporter had the good fortune to witness the Hilltops Spending Spree (HSS) prize draw in Boorowa. The atmosphere was upbeat, with jazzy Christmas music playing, children happily playing in the park, and adults eagerly awaiting the draw. A massive chest was wheeled into place by Angus Mitchell, President of the Boorowa Business Chamber, and then Robyn Armour, the winner of the 2019 HSS, delved into the chest to produce the winning tickets.
By way of background, the HSS began in 2019 as a way of boosting our local retail economy. The brainchild of Angus Mitchell. Alison Foreman of “Label A” in Young, and Mike Ward (former president of the Boorowa Business Chamber), the HSS puts rubber on the road in terms of encouraging locals and our visitors to ‘buy from the bush’. This is increasingly important in a time when online shopping threatens to divert business traffic. Of course, local businesses can also offer their products online, but there is no substitute for actually touching or tasting goods on offer, and personalized face-to-face customer service will never go out of style.
Following the first HSS, the Hilltops Council commissioned a survey to establish whether the initiative enhanced buyer traffic in our region. The survey discovered that it had led to a pleasing increase in expenditure, a result that led to the Council to provide a $5,000 grant in 2020 which enabled radio advertising, and the production of printed posters and entry tickets.
Each participating business donates $100 to the prize pool. In 2020, 71 businesses participated in Young, 44 participated in Boorowa, and 20 participated in Harden Murrumburrah.
So, without further ado, here are our 2020 Hilltops Spending Spree winners:
Young: Katie Scelly won the first prize, which was a $5,000 shopping voucher. The second prize of $1200 was won by Gary Green and the third prize of $900 was won by Lesley Schalk.
Boorowa: Sadie Murphy won the first prize, a $4,400 shopping voucher. The second prize, a $100 voucher from the Boorowa Hotel/Top Pub, went to Alan Thompson, and the third prize, a gift voucher provided by Kerrie’s Garden Nickity Naks, went to Dawn Barton.
Harden Murrumburrah: Bill Adams won the first prize, a $1,000 shopping voucher, Gail Flannery won the second prize of $600, and the third prize of $400 was won by Katie James.
Alison Foreman, Angus Mitchell (the new President of the Boorowa Business Chamber), and Chris Ireland (CEO of the Harden Regional Development Corporation) thanked relevant individuals for their hard work and input in pulling together this important initiative. They also thanked the Council and participating businesses for their support during this year’s Spending Spree campaign.
As articulated by Angus Mitchell, “It is out- standing that small communities can raise so much interest from our businesses. Without the support of our local businesses, this type of event would not be possible or not as successful as it has been. Let’s hope that the 2021 campaign is just as big with the same level of enthusiasm from our business community.”
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