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Post-pandemic economy stronger than before

The latest economic about spending in Orange shows the local economy has remained strong and continues to grow despite last year’s downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest Spendmapp data, which analyses bank transactions using time, geography and expenditure details, shows spending in Orange by both visitors and locals had increased compared to the same time last year.

The data analysed was taken from February 2021, and compared with February 2020, before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation in March 2020.

Cr Tony Mileto and Cr Reg Kidd in the CBD

Cr Tony Mileto and Cr Reg Kidd at an earlier launch of the Retail Recovery program

The data showed visitor spending in Orange was up by more than 10 per cent and local resident spending was also higher.

Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said the figures showed how valuable tourism dollars were to the local economy.

“With overseas travel off the table for the foreseeable future, we have taken advantage of that situation and invested in strategic tourism plans,” Cr Kidd said.

“These results clearly justify that investment and shown what we have achieved.”

The data showed both spending online by Orange residents, and Orange residents’ spending in other locations was lower compared to February last year.

This is the first time since July 2018 (when data began) the expenditure online was lower than the same month the previous year.

Orange City Council’s Employment and Economic Development Policy Committee Chair Tony Mileto said the data proved the Orange retail sector was strong, vibrant and was attracting local dollars as well as visitors.

“There appears to be an out-dated attitude that Orange residents shop in neighbouring areas because of the lack of options in our city,” Cr Mileto said.

“The data shows that for the most part, that just isn’t the case and more often people are coming to Orange to shop rather than the other way around.

“It is also pleasing to see that local residents are choosing to spend less online in favour of supporting local businesses

“This data is really promising and it’s a great relief seeing these numbers go from strength to strength, especially given how tough it was last year.”

For the month of February 2021:

  • Resident Local Spend was $49.4 million. This is a 0.93% change from the same time last year.
  • Visitor Local Spend was $33.3 million. This is a 10.67% change from the same time last year.
  • Total Local Spend was $82.6 million. This is a 4.63% change from the same time last year.
  • Resident Escape Spend was $12.7 million. This is a -2.4% change from the same time last year.
  • Resident Online Spend was $23.9 million. This is a -1.16% change from the same time last year.

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