Glen Innes' shop local campaign received over 15,000 entries in a major win for the region's businesses that left one shop owner saying her business had been pumped up some much it was almost back to normal.
Business in Glen president Peter Teschner, who has taken responsibility for the Spend in Glen Innes Highlands count, estimates this year's competition attracted an eye-watering 15,900 entries.
That's just shy of an average of two entries per resident of Glen Innes local government area.
The competition, once called simply 'Spend in Glen' rebranded for 2019 to draw in more residents from Deepwater and Emmaville. Last year the strategy was a bit of a flop, but this year, Peter Teschner said, was more successful.
"We actually opened up a couple on the draw who were from Deepwater and Emmaville," he said.
"The first week draw for the $500 jackpot was from Emmaville but she couldn't get here within five minutes so unfortunately she missed out."
New rules this year required winners to front up in person to the draw to win a jackpot prize - in order to encourage attendance. You had five minutes to turn up.
Three weeks in a row the winner missed out, until the prize value hit $1500.
"She actually wasn't at the site but she was only around the corner at a picnic and she made in two minutes and thirty six seconds."
He said crowd attendance at the four draws was up, with more interest than ever in the competition.
"Certainly most of the comments from those who've been involved with it for a fair while was that there seemed to be more tickets and goodness knows what else this year than ever before."
Margaret Ferris of The Premier Store was one of over fifty businesses that participated in the Spend in Glen Innes Highlands competition in 2019.
"I feel the fact that we've had so many new people joining our frequent shopper indicates that we have had a lot of new customers," she said.
"I attribute that to the Spend in Glen campaign. We're so grateful for all their help for our business.
"We really think people are getting more and more conscious of buying local."
She was expecting a brutal Christmas retail period, expecting people to cut back on inessentials as drought and fire hit the community hard.
"It's gone better than expected given the drought and the fires, although some of our sales have been boosted perhaps by the people who have been working here on the fires.
"Even if they're just coming in for a pair of shorts and shirt while they wash the rest of their clothes."
Peter Teschner now plans to go through the massive pile of entries to identify which postcodes buyers were from. He hopes it will make good evidence for tourism operators and business owners in the region.
It's a process that will take about a month.
Spot the Window:
- Chili Teinaki
- Naishia Grob
- Siena Villella
- Maryanne Brookfield, Schafers Newsagency
- Jim Corkhill, The Premier Store
- Nat Ward, Red Chair Hair Gallery
- Kat, Wayne's World
- Warren Chaffey, Fossickers Service Station and Caravan Park
- Tracey Clifford, Bruce Family Butchery
- Karen Lee, Peppermints
- Kylie Duddy, Bruce Family Butchery
- Jenni Colley with a docket from New England Travel
- Mark Law, The Premier Store
- Michael Cooke, Campbell's Butchery
- Kelly Murphy, Jamesies Fuel and Fix
- Linda Bruce, Carelles
- Sophie Sharman, Home Living
- Bill, Say and Co Rural
- Tammi Czapracki,The Premier Store
- Di Collins who shopped at Carelle's
- Irene Gallagher, Campbell's Butchery
- Bea Baker, Carelle's
- Lisa Marshall, Bruce Family Butchery
- Lynne Greene, The Premier Store
- Ann Fordham, Fossickers Caravan Park and Service Station
- Traci and Ba Bolt, Hicks Mitre 10
- J Shaw, Wayne's World
- Tam Lamson, Schafers Newsagency
- Lorraine Zoldos, Raindrops and Lollipops
- Maureen Duggan, Furnished in Glen
- Dolores Rochford , NRMA
- Tracy Sharman, Bruce Family Butchery
- Jody Lamph, The Premier Store
- Leanne Newsome, Home Living
- Steve and Jen, The Sage and Clover