Ballymoney council has gone the extra mile in trying to make the town a must for shoppers in the run up to Christmas.
Already, the council has splashed out more than £60,000 on Christmas lights and last week announced that a further £5000 was being made available for the Small Business Saturday initiative as well as additional marketing events and activity.
The move has been warmly welcomed by Chamber of Commerce President, Winnie Mellett, who has reacted with delight at the decision by Council to boost the town marketing budget in the run up to Christmas.
After hearing the decision of the meeting Mrs Mellett commented: “A number of our businesses give contributions each year to the Chamber towards the Christmas programme.
“Council pitching in with this ‘Christmas bonus’ provides welcome match funding at this critical trading time and will allow us to up our game leaving us better able to compete with other towns.
“I say a very big thank you to our Mayor and Councillors for their support and the staff who work with us to plan and co-ordinate events and marketing activity.”
The President added: “Business success is all about momentum and we will now be able to further reinforce our message and enhance our activities. The Christmas lights are a key part of the marketing mix.
“They have really transformed our town this Christmas to the envy of many. The Council has been very supportive indeed of the town in this period of economic downturn to try and ensure Ballymoney prospers.”
At last week’s meeting, Independent councillor Roma McAfee praised the efforts of Corporate Services officer, Liz Johnston, on her hard work in organising the Christmas lights and other pre-Christmas attractions.
“This officer deserves our full praise. I have heard very good reports from people who visited the town and all this has put quite a few people into the Christmas spirit,” she added.
Councillor Evelyne Robinson agreed that everyone was veryhappy with the lights and that they had proved a big talking point.
The suggestion for the extra £5000 came from the Mayor, Councillor John Finlay, who said he was also impressed by the lights and that he had received many favourable comments.
Small Business Saturday took place at the weekend and gave Ballymoney another opportunity to showcase all it has to offer.