Lynne Mowbray It’s that time of year when we start ‘making a list and checking it twice’. But before we grab the credit card and get online, or grab the friends and head to the mega stores on the Goldie for the big Christmas grab, why not check out what’s available locally, first. From food to furniture, cars to candles, toys to travel; why not check out the quality and compare the prices here in the valley and help support our local economy. There’s nothing worse than opening up that gift on Christmas Day that’s been purchased online, to find that there’s something missing, or broken. Or even worse, that it’s a cheap imitation of the real deal that you’ve paid top dollar for. We all have our preferences when it comes to retail therapy and where and how we choose to shop and sometimes we have to look further afield for that special item that is just not available here. Our local businesses are the backbone of our community. They are the ones who throughout the year support the community; they sponsor our sporting clubs, our local events and charities and are there to lend assistance and advice when we need help. So before we race off to do our Chrissie shopping this year, let’s spare a thought for our local businesses that support us and show them a little Christmas spirit.