Plenty to smile about
GYMPIE region shopping is "back in fashion", according to some who should know, the operators of fashion clothing outlets in Mary St.
And, importantly for the regional economy, a significant fraction of all that spending money is coming from outside the Gympie region.
Foxy Lady principal Jenny Waldock says her shop is part of a fashion precinct which runs on both sides of that section of the Gympie CBD's main street.
"We could all stay in bed all day if we wanted to get down about things.
"We're very fortunate. I've got faith in Gympie. I love it," she said.
Mrs Waldock's optimism is such that she has recently taken the opportunity to open a shoe shop, in addition to her well-known lingerie outlet next door.
And across the road and on the other side of the fashion retailing business, Ross Connolly has much the same enthusiasm for the future of his business, Mr Executive Mens Wear.
Both say they owe a considerable part of their customer base to their success in reversing what is often thought to be the normal trend of people from Gympie going elsewhere to shop.
Both say they draw many of their customers from Noosa, Maroochydore and even Brisbane, as well as the occasional overseas shopper.
"Mary St is a wonderful place to be," Mr Connolly said yesterday.
"I've been here 35 years. I took over in September last year," he said.
"There are too many negative people. There's always doom and gloom, so you've got to be positive.
"It's a lovely place, we've got some nice trees and we get a lot of people from the Sunshine Coast coming in.
"Look at all the people in town today," he said, pointing out the door at crowds of shoppers passing by.