SOUTHSIDE WINNERS: Ashlee Taylor is proud of her school's achievement in winning first prize in the Winter Trees on Mary tree-dressing competition.
SOUTHSIDE WINNERS: Ashlee Taylor is proud of her school's achievement in winning first prize in the Winter Trees on Mary tree-dressing competition. Arthur Gorrie

Rugged individuals win from team effort

IT TAKES all kinds to make a world.

Normally you do not find the rugged individuals of small business getting organised in groups and playing as a team, as the shopkeepers and the council did in Mary St on Wednesday night.

Probably it is a matter of survival (in times that seem often much more difficult and challenging than most people want to admit).

Many small business operators have been doing it tough for a while, never able to admit it and suffering on their own.

Into this troubled landscape comes a new idea that seems to have everyone feeling more positive.

This week's Winter Trees on Mary event is a simple enough promotion on the surface but much more complex and difficult behind the scenes.

The man often credited withWinter Trees (as well asSpringtime on Mary, Christmas on Mary and Easter on Mary), Tony Goodman, says it is all very much a team effort.

That team includes all thoseshopkeepers who got together on Wednesday toshare in the benefits of oneof the most enjoyable Mary St promotions we have seen.

Mr Goodman says the role of the council in funding the event and making it possible must also be recognised.

...

Gympie's big winter night out

CLOSING Mary St from Monkland St to the Five Ways was one big difference at Wednesday's Winter Trees on Mary shopping event.

And it was the biggest and best of the four Winter Trees events held so far, according to organisers' spokesman Tony Goodman.

"This is the fourth Winter Trees event and the 16th of our seasonal night shopping events,” Mr Goodman said.

Gympie South school won first prize in the tree dressing competition, a $200 Office National voucher.

And if you want to have a look at the school's winning style, their entry is the one growing outside the Good Price Pharmacy.

St Patrick's primary school won second prize, a $100 Amcal voucher, for the makeover they gave their tree outside Jay Jays.

Third prize was a split decision, ultimately declared a tie between Centrecare (outside On Location) and Landcare (outside NAB).

They will share a $25 voucher from Toyworld.

Mr Goodman says it is all a matter of keeping positive in what most people realise is a difficult time for many small businesses.

"It's been a perfect storm for retailers,” he said.

Cost of living increases, wages not keeping up, energy and fuel prices through the roof and unemployment fears were all challenging factors.

So something positive was in order, according to Mr Goodman.

"I'm hearing people say, 'Aren't the trees great this year?' People are putting a lot of effort in,” he said.

"It's designed to be a great family night and, just listening to the traders, it seems there were several thousand people.”

Another plus for shopkeepers is that people not only come for the night, people come in to see the trees their friends and relatives dressed.

"And there were a lot of new people coming through, possibly because there are lot of new people in Gympie.”

Gympie Times


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