A new look gift card is helping the region's residents support local businesses this Christmas. Released by the Margaret River Business Network (MRBN), the Margaret River Region Gift Card has been fully sponsored by local businesses. The initiative began when locals noticed a growing number of 'big business' gift cards being sold locally in stores, which the MRBN said meant hard-earned local dollars were being sent to the pockets of big corporations. Initially funded by an Augusta Margaret River Shire Sustainable Economy Grant which ended in 2021, the MRBN sought sponsorship to maintain the locally-produced card. "Since then, the MRBN have been shouldering the administration and marketing costs while running the program free of charge, [and] long term this was untenable." Earlier in 2023 the MRBN put the call out to members, several of which jumped on board. "A huge shout out to our Gift Card sponsors, Margaret River Bookshop, Settlers Tavern, Burger Baby, Sportspower Margaret River, and Margaret River Artisan Store!" The card features a new beach design and offers recipients the chance to shop at over 50 participating businesses, including beauticians, clothing stores, wineries, hardware, jewellery, art, restaurants and pubs. MRBN chief executive Annie McFie said the card offered the gift of choice, while supporting the region's businesses. She also praised the enthusiasm of businesses keen to support the program, which is free for MRBN members to join. "The generosity and community spirit of our local business network never ceases to amaze me," she said. "We are so grateful to our new Gift Card sponsors, and we hope more businesses get involved and continue to strengthen our local economy and support our local." Ms McFie said the cards would make great gifts for staff, guests, teachers, clients, sporting clubs and family. They can be purchased from Riverfresh IGA, Margaret River Artisan Store, ReTyre (Town Square), the Margaret River Visitor Centre and the Shire of Augusta Margaret River. For bulk orders (10+ cards) contact email@example.com.