An after-hours shopping spree night which aimed to help Rochester businesses was cancelled last week.By Elaine Cooney
Rochester business owners were disappointed about the cancellation of an after-hours shopping spree night last week due to a lack of participants.
Rochester Chamber of Commerce organised the event with the aim that members of various clubs would do their Christmas shopping in Rochester on Thursday night and a percentage of the store profits would go back to the clubs.
The plan was for the clubs to spend a few minutes shopping in each store and enjoy wine and nibbles on the way.
Organiser and store owner Darren Pain said he was disappointed with the lack of support from clubs for the event.
He contacted almost 40 sporting and community groups in the area and only four took up the invitation.
Mr Pain said all of the 12 interested businesses were keen on the idea.
He said he had sent out letters and had attempted to promote the event in the community as best he could.
Mr Pain said the idea had worked in other rural towns and could not understand why it did not work in Rochester.
‘‘In Cohuna they had 170 people show up from one school (for a similar event),’’ he said.
‘‘We’re always banging on about ‘shop local’ but it’s probably more about supporting one another.’’
Mr Pain said he was disheartened with the lack of interest in the night as he often helped district sporting groups with donations and sponsorships.
Rochester Chamber of Commerce member Leigh Wilson was also disappointed at the outcome but acknowledged the chamber could have dealt with the organisation of the event differently.
He said the group based the idea on a similar event in Echuca where the clubs had approached the shops with the idea.
But Mr Wilson said despite the lack of support it was still a good idea and an indication that businesses were willing to work together and try new things.
“It’s not a failure, we need to keep trying until we find a thing that works for businesses and consumers,” he said.
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