Councillors' decision to put $12,000 towards the Gunnedah Chamber of Commerce's 'Shop Local & Win' campaign has organiser Tracie Finlay 'absolutely gobsmacked'.
These were the words she used after councillors unanimously voted at the October ordinary meeting to support the campaign, which has been organised in place of the Spirit of Christmas Fair due to the pandemic.
Ms Finlay, who organises the annual fair, said outside the Gunnedah Shire Council chambers that she wanted to "cartwheel all the way up and down here and kiss all the councillors".
"I trusted that council would believe in what we're doing, and they did so that's awesome," the Gunnedah Chamber of Commerce member said.
"I am absolutely gobsmacked, it's just awesome news."
Now that she has the council's blessing, she said she would be getting ready to print about 30-40,000 more entry tickets for the competition.
The competition encourages locals to spend money in the town's businesses to potentially win prizes, which chamber president Juliana McArthur said was already happening.
Mrs McArthur gave a presentation at the beginning of the meeting before votes were cast, and she said there had already been 10,000 entries into the competition.
"The minimum spend is $20, so we already have $200,000 in our economy and there's eight weeks to go," she said on Wednesday evening.
"I've seen a few entries myself and I can tell you majority of those are nowhere near $20, or $50. They're well over $100 and many are over $1000 so I'm pretty excited about this initiative."
Many of the councillors congratulated the chamber, and particularly Ms Finlay, in their organisation of the campaign.
"This is the kind of thing that we've been working hard to achieve," Cr Murray O'Keefe said at the meeting.
"How good is it that one of our corner stone community organisations has managed to flex and pivot so amazingly to turn what could be a diabolically devastating event for the business community in our shire and do something that is probably going to be as positive with what it could have been had COVID not have been around."