GREAT Christmas trade could be the saving grace for some businesses that have faced challenges they never could have anticipated at the start of 2020.
Bathurst residents are being encouraged more than ever before to support their locals businesses this Christmas, be it while they buy gifts or stock up for Christmas lunch.
Bathurst Business Chamber vice president Stephen Harper wants locals to visit stores instead of buying everything online.
"2020 has been a tough year for everybody; some businesses have done pretty well, but retail has done it tough right through," he said.
"We need to #KeepItLocalBx and have all the locals support as many businesses as they can in town during the Christmas period."
He said Bathurst had some good retailers to choose from when it came to buying gifts.
Among the retailers that will be looking to have a strong Christmas trade is Casey's Toys, a new business in the Bathurst City Centre.
Marketing manager Jodie Smith said the store has received a lot of support in Bathurst already, and she hopes the support builds into the Christmas period.
She said the store offers something for all ages, including pre-school-aged toys, wooden toys, board games as big as 5000 pieces, and collectable LEGO.
Casey's toys employs 12 staff members. Supporting the business not only keeps those locals employed, but also enables Casey's Toys to give back to the community through its donations schedule.
"We do put back into the community, and the only way to do that is if people can come and support us and shop locally," Ms Smith said.
In addition to supporting businesses through gift buying, people can also visit small retailers for their Christmas meals, including butchers.
"There's a lot of good local butchers, like South Bathurst Butcher and the Keppel Street butcher; all of them have good quality meat, they local after their customers," Mr Harper said.
Christmas could be make or break for some businesses, making it even more important to have good Christmas trade, which can only happen with local support.
"If businesses are struggling now and they can get good foot traffic through the door, they need a good Christmas to finish the year off and make it viable for them," Mr Harper said.
Another way people can help is by purchasing a Buy Local Gift Card.
Cards can be purchased online or at 11 Bathurst businesses. Visit the Bathurst Business Hub website for a list of participating stores.