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Gazette Article

Supporting the locals

I have always considered the local grocery shops a place to buy milk on the way home and to pop down to if I have forgotten something, and that for the privilege of not having to travel to Chatswood or Lane Cove and battle traffic to find a parking space, I would pay a slightly increased price for the products.

But then two things happened that made me think.  The first of these was that I dropped into a major supermarket while my takeaway pizzas where being made and found that my 2 litre container of milk was $4.00. Being used to paying $3.90 at Artarmon shops I thought milk must have gone up, but no, it was just the retailer padding out their profit margins. I’m still paying $3.90 for milk locally and I later found that a local non-mainstream petrol station was charging $3.60 so there is money to be saved by shopping locally - and it is less stressful and quicker.

Which brings me onto the second thing that happened. Those who read my articles would know that one of my friends got married last year and as their best man I thought I had better learn to dance. As a result I have spent time at a local dance studio and so had the opportunity to ask them if many people had used the free pass to an introductory class which was included in their ad in the May Artarmon Gazette.

With 5200 Artarmon Gazettes published, no one has utilised the pass, worth $20. I have to wonder - if the community of Artarmon doesn’t support the local businesses, what incentive if there for local businesses to support the Artarmon Community via sponsorship of the Artarmon Fair, Artarmon Star Search etc. I know that many local businesses have found that sponsorship/advertising in the Artarmon Gazette has yielded results so perhaps we need to read the advertisement as well as the articles in the Gazette, in order to find out what businesses are hidden away in the area that we would use if we knew about them.

My final thought is on ‘supporting the supporters’. This one isn’t just about supporting local businesses, but more about sharing the workload around. The Artarmon Progress Association has a dedicated band of individuals on a variety of committees working behind the scenes to improve Artarmon, but they can always do with a hand. The Artarmon Gazette and various flyers are hand delivered in Artarmon but I’m sure the delivery team would be happy to have some back up. There a several sub committees for organising Heritage Events, Artarmon Fair, Artarmon Gazette, Artarmon Star Search, Artarmon Youth Garden and countless things in the area.

I have heard people say what a great time they had at the Artarmon Fair and that council should do it every year. Well, I’ve got some news for you. While Council is supportive of the Fair, it is an initiative of the APA, and a success because of a small band of volunteers who work tirelessly from before sunrise to well after sunset on the day and a lot of organising behind of the scenes prior to and after the event.

So to paraphrase John F Kennedy – “Ask not what Artarmon can do for you - ask what you can do for Artarmon”.

by Robert Newman

Courtesy of Gazette August 2008


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