“Trees of love and hope” turn backyard into business boom
A WARWICK resident's idea to lift community spirits in the aftermath of the pandemic has evolved into a financial life raft for some local businesses.
As part of its #SupportSmall campaign in July, the Warwick Chamber of Commerce will run "Messages of Love and Hope", a competition designed to encourage residents to boost the local economy by shopping at small businesses.
Customers at any participating stores can write an inspiring message to the business or the wider community, which will then be used to decorate trees in the main streets of Warwick.
They will also go into the draw to win cash prizes.
Warwick resident Clare Cotton worked with the Chamber on the promotion, which was inspired by her original "Trees of Love and Hope" community initiative following the cancellation of the Jumpers & Jazz in July Festival.
"I'm so happy they went with my idea, because there's so many restrictions around people even getting together to decorate trees," Ms Cotton said.
"It's spreading positivity, and that's what it's all about. Getting people to think positively about our small businesses and how important they are to us.
"If we can get people knowing about it, then they're going to start doing it more."
The initiative has so far been sponsored by local business heavyweights such as Warwick Credit Union, Wickham Freight Lines, and Cafe Jacqui, all entrants will be in the running to win one of 20 $200 vouchers, or the grand $1000 prize.
All of the prizes are to be spent back with participating businesses to encourage local economic growth in the stead of Warwick's usual tourism boom over the winter holiday period.
In a statement, a Chamber of Commerce spokesperson said joining the organisation's idea with Ms Cotton's message seemed the perfect way to re-invoke the financial prosperity and community spirit of J&J.
"Chamber is aware that the JJJ Festival contributes to a range of economic outcomes, estimated average daily spend of $108 per visitor per day, over the 10-day festival," they said.
"The Warwick Chamber has had discussions with representatives of the JJJ Festival Committee and Southern Downs Regional Council on ways to keep business and community spirits high during July."
For more information on the promotion or participating stores, contact the Chamber of Commerce via email@example.com