THE Gympie Show faces its toughest challenges yet as tight financial times combine with competition from the Ipswich Show, which will be held at the same time this year.
Gympie Show Society president Lars Hedberg said yesterday tough times had an obvious effect on vital business sponsorship.
But Mr Hedberg said Gympie's significantly higher prizemoney would ensure there was no drop in the competitive quality of the exhibits, which have made Gympie's big event Queensland's premier regional show.
"We're still getting significant sponsorship," Mr Hedberg said this week, "but the sponsorship situation mirrors the general economic climate.
"So sponsorship's tough," he said.
Mr Hedberg, the owner of Gympie Saddleworld and the city's Hungry Jack's franchise, said he understood the pressures many businesses were experiencing.
"We understand and I particularly understand the impact there has been on business at the moment.
"People are finding it pretty difficult.
"But we still encourage people to support the community and the show which has supported and promoted them," he said.
Gympie's show date on the third weekend in May has been shared with shows at Boonah and Brookfield, now to be joined by the Ipswich Show, which has obtained permission from the Queensland Chamber of Agricultural Societies to hold its event on the same weekend.
Mr Hedberg said Gympie organisers had strongly resisted the change.