Below, a copy of a letter to Narrabri Shire Council general manager, councillors and the Narrabri Chamber of Commerce.

We recently received an email from NSC’s media officer, Deanne Stanfield in regards to the works scheduled for the Narrabri CBD.

We are concerned that the timing of the Stage 1 and 2 Works will negatively impact the Christmas shopping period for Narrabri businesses.

As you can appreciate local business have seen a huge reduction in customers due to the drought and then COVID-19. Generally Narrabri businesses see the start of the Christmas shopping period with the kick off of The Courier’s Christmas Promotion which is beginning in the week starting on September 28, 2020.

Most business will be very busy by November 1, 2020.

For us, Narrabri Shire Council’s works in the CBD earlier this year saw our business take a reduction in walk in clients as they couldn’t walk past our shop.

Others couldn’t park close enough and weren’t able to carry heavy computer equipment further distances, negatively affecting our business even further.

During this time many customers chose to shop in other towns to avoid the CBD works.

We don’t want to see our customers travelling to Gunnedah or Tamworth to shop during one of the busiest shopping times of the year. The COVID-19 pandemic combined with the drought has seen Narrabri businesses struggle significantly and we all need a busy Christmas to ensure our services into 2021. Would it be possible for Council to postpone the works until January 2021 which is the quietest time of the year for Narrabri Businesses? Seeing the work was scheduled to be completed earlier this year, postponing it again wouldn’t be much of an inconvenience to Council’s schedule and should still be completed in the current Councillors’ term, which I know is very important to them.

I urge you to consider the local business community and take into account the difficulty we have had in recent times due to circumstances beyond our control.

Christmas is the only time this year that we could potentially see some significant spending in our local community.

With farmers having planted a winter crop with the expectation of decent yields and the promise of rain in the coming months to give them the confidence to plant a summer crop, Narrabri Businesses have the best chance we’ve had in quite a few years to get back on our feet.

Thank you and Councillors for taking the time to consider our request.

Ann and James Loder, Narrabri

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