EVENT CANCELLED: Despite the Muster’s cancellation in July, Kristin Bonner said they’ll still make it this year.
EVENT CANCELLED: Despite the Muster’s cancellation in July, Kristin Bonner said they’ll still make it this year.

Shoppers stay away from Southern Downs

A MUCH needed cash injection for Southern Downs businesses has been put on hold due to coronavirus restrictions.

The Merry Muster, a convoy of Brisbane locals planning to visit for the purpose of shopping locally, cancelled its July event yesterday.

Organiser Kristin Bonner said while it was upsetting, she hopes she can still bring thousands of dollars to the region later this year.

"In the beginning of March I thought we maybe had a bit of time and things would have been okay again but when I heard the EKKA had been cancelled and that was in August I thought, right well I don't want to be responsible for getting anyone sick," she said.

"I never thought we'd be railroaded by a global pandemic, it's like a waking nightmare.

"You can't believe it's real."

Mrs Bonner said it was another blow after recently being stood down form her job in the travel industry.

But despite her recent hardship, she said she was determined to still bring business to the Downs who she believes are doing it even tougher than their 'city cousins'.

"Even through our hardship we are still thinking about people in the country who have been doing it tough a lot longer," she said.

"I gave people the option to re-book for a trip in December for a Christmas shopping trip instead of a refund and 95 per cent decided to do that, it's quite beautiful really."

Mrs Bonner is currently reworking plans to take even more people to the Southern Downs in December to do their Christmas shopping.

"The good thing out of being out of work at the moment is the time I now have to plan this," she said.

"I think I'll be taking even more buses now because people will be so eager to be out and about and help people in a way that's bigger than their own backyard."

Mrs Bonner hopes to organise markets, shopping time and a lunch at Ballandean estate.

To follow updates and register your interest for involvement go to the Merry Muster Facebook page.



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