BUY LOCAL, SHOP LOCAL: Balonne mayor Richard Marsh shakes hands with St George Chamber of Commerce president John Travis after council accepted the Balonne Shire Gift Card proposal.
BUY LOCAL, SHOP LOCAL: Balonne mayor Richard Marsh shakes hands with St George Chamber of Commerce president John Travis after council accepted the Balonne Shire Gift Card proposal. Emma Dohle

Balonne Shire gift card plan to ensure profits stay local

ST GEORGE Chamber of Commerce and Balonne Shire Council have delivered a program that will keep profits local.

The purpose of the gift card program is to encourage local residents to buy locally through a gift card that can only be redeemed within the shire at the participating businesses.

At last week's general meeting, the Chamber of Commerce requested council assistance to the value of $6500 to provide the necessary upfront development costs and the costs of the gift cards.

Balonne mayor Richard Marsh said it was a positive idea for the community and council was happy to accept the proposal.

"The chamber had this idea three years ago but couldn't get it off the ground because of the initial set up costs involved,” Cr Marsh said.

"There was a significant amount of money involved in the initial set up.

"Council couldn't fund that at the time but this year's proposal has been accepted.”

The proposed Balonne Shire Gift Card campaign would operate from the date of commencement and at a minimum of three years across all of the shire.

The intention of the chamber was to make the program self-sustainable with funding from council to be a one-off request.

Cr Marsh said the card's use was done in similar vein to the drought-funding cards.

"The purpose of the chamber card is to buy local,” Cr Marsh said.

"Basically if you want funds on this card, it'll specify that it'll only be available for use in the Balonne.

"There are other towns throughout Australia who have used this initiative and had fantastic results.”