STAWELL - The Stawell Christmas Shopper competition has been hailed by StawellBiz as a success.
StawellBiz president, Beth Gibson, said the competition worked very well.
"We are thrilled with the formats and entries and the response from shop owners and customers across the Wimmera this year," she said.
Two of the winners were from Stawell, the third from Horsham.
Ms Gibson said people liked the ease of just filling in an entry form and hoping for the best.
"There were over 15,000 entries this year, for a town with a population of roughly 7,000 and number of adults less than that, that is a great effort," she said.
"That shows that some of the people have come from out of town and spent money here."
She said it is difficult to calculate the exact amount of money the drive injects into the economy, but it would be a fair bit.
"Just think, we had over 15,000 entries, if every person spent around $50 then that is a lot of money," she said.
"The winners will be able to use their $50 vouchers to experience a wide range of stores, some they probably wouldn't normally go into.
"I think this year has been a great year for retail in Stawell, we've seen a great variety thanks to a lot of new stores opening up.
"A lot of the feedback I get from locals and tourists about the retail precinct and services on the highway is positive.
"It is important to acknowledge that some of that is due to the changes that have occurred over the past year."
Ms Gibson also said it was good to have the winners announced at a community event such as the Christmas parade.
"It was better to announce the winners after the Christmas parade, where people had all come together after following the route or visiting the farmers market," she said.
Ms Gibson said despite rain and poor weather conditions the event was well supported.
"Considering the weather it was lovely to see a flow of people make their way through the town," she said.
"There were about a dozen floats, including by the emergency services, churches, special interest groups from around town and of course Santa.
"StawellBiz really enjoyed partnering with Apex to make it a true family night."
After the parade a packed Town Hall witnessed caroling from representatives from each of the schools.
"Hopefully with activities and events around this time of year that are well supported we can gain momentum to build on them in the years ahead," she said.
"Working with other organisations within the community by combining resources and skills to make them possible."
Winners of the Stawell Christmas Shopper Competition:
The first prize; $1,200 worth of $50 vouchers went to Marion Lewis who entered at Newton's Butchers.
Second prize; $700 worth of $50 vouchers went to Michelle Baker who entered at Stawell Craft Shop.
Third prize; $400 worth of $50 vouchers went to Jill Fiscalini who entered at Stawell Lotto and Books.