Why Leave Town

Posted on 2 November 2023


Why Leave Town – the local gift card program that supports local businesses

Bellingen Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to encouraging the support of local businesses.

There is much research that demonstrates that money spent with local businesses stays circulating in the local economy, supporting the creation of local jobs and in turn creating a community that we can all feel proud to be part of.

In November 2021, the Bellingen Chamber of Commerce took the lead in introducing the Why Leave Town gift card, a gift card that can only be redeemed within the Bellingen Shire. This program was made possible with grant funding from Bellingen Shire Council and is a shire wide program. Bellingen Chamber of Commerce administers this program on behalf of the other two chambers in the shire, Urunga Mylstom Business & Community and Dorrigo Chamber of Commerce.

To date, more than $62,000 has been loaded onto around 1,400 gift cards! This is money that stays within our local economy and yet could easily have been spent on gift cards for the big corporate retailers. We think that’s a great result for our local economy!

To give back to the community, we have donated 50 gift cards with a value of $50 each, that’s $2,500 in total, to the Neighbourhood Centres of Bellingen Shire. They will use these cards to support local people in need. As the cards can only be redeemed within the shire, this means that not only are the Neighbourhood Centres supporting people in need, they are also supporting local businesses.

Thank you to everyone who supports this program.