Shop local plea
GONE Fishin' trader Lorraine Hoban can't quite figure it out.
Why is this area so supportive of locals in their darkest hours, as seen by numerous highly successful fundraisers, while many people rush off to buy their goods from anywhere in the world but the Valley?
What many people don't understand, she said, was that behind the smiles of many local traders was an underlying fear that they may not be able to meet their obligations this month - the sales simply are not there.
And one thing at the centre of small business frustration locally, she said, was that people don't think twice about heading off to Coffs Harbour and spending up big as local shops contemplate closure.
Mrs Hoban said she was thankful for her loyal clientele who always return for a their fishing needs along with some friendly advice or some reel-building expertise from her partner Damon.
"People go to BCF or Fishing Australia before they've even been to see us," she said.
"What a lot of people don't know is that if we don't have something we can usually have it in by the end of the day."
Mrs Hoban said she was aware times were tough for people at the moment with the cost of electricity and petrol skyrocketing and said she could hardly blame people for trying to find the cheapest price around.
"But it can't be all about price," she said.
"There is a lot to be said for local service and experience.
"It's about this town sustaining itself financially because if it doesn't, there'll be even more unemployment.
"We don't need any more retail outlets ... what we need is industry to back up the retailers."
Mrs Hoban, who bought Gone Fishin' 15 months ago, said she loved this area for its location and lovely people but was concerned that unless some big industry came to the Valley unemployment could cripple the local economy.