In recognition of the resilience shown by local businesses during what has been an incredibly tough year, the Cootamundra Development Corporation (CDC) has launched 'Celebrate Coota'.
The campaign kicked off with a Shop Local draw this month, similar to the one local residents traditionally know from Christmas time.
Throughout July, shoppers at participating businesses will receive one free ticket into a draw to win $500 in local shopping vouchers.
Participating businesses include Jak + Jill, JMA Legal, Coota Signs, CW Jewellers, The Rusty Table, Coota New & Old, Tasco Petroleum, Braybrooks Pharmacy, Bryant Constructions, Elizabeth Anne Florist, Desi's Fabric and Blinds, Cootamundra Country Club, Flemings Property Services and Kevin Deep's Clothing & Footwear.
A winner will be drawn at the Cootamundra Country Club on August 5.
Celebrate Coota will continue in August with the Business Awards launched. While Covid19 restrictions make it impossible for the CDC to plan its usual gala event in its previous format, CDC manager Leah Sutherland is hopeful they will be able to host an event of some type and will pay close attention to restrictions and safe practices over the coming weeks.
The awards will be revamped this year to give the community a chance to vote.
"The Celebrate Coota Business Awards are the perfect way to celebrate our businesses and employee achievements," Ms Sutherland said.
Celebrate Coota will wrap up with a second Shop Local campaign in December incorporating two consecutive Thursdays of late night shopping and the community Christmas party currently set down for Thursday, December 17.
In launching Celebrate Coota, Ms Sutherland acknowledged 2020 has thrown plenty of challenges at the business community.
"We started with the devastating bushfires, then our lives quickly changed with the emergence of Covid19 and the required restrictions and life changes we needed to make," she said.
"Through all of this, what is commonly referred to as the 'Cootamundra spirit' has shown through and this is worth celebrating," she continued.
Ms Sutherland referred to businesses and individuals from within the community organising supply runs to bushfire-affected parts of the South Coast and closer to home around Tumut.
When Covid19 turned the world upside down, Ms Sutherland noted Cootamundra businesses met the challenge head-on.
She said they were quick to adapt, completely changing how they operated in many cases and demonstrating resilience and stamina every step of the way.
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