Help support our local businesses by buying local while construction works progress on the upgrade of the Whitianga town centre. 10 April 2018 Help support our local businesses by buying local while construction works progress on the upgrade of the Whitianga town centre. Every week we'll be profiling a local business affected by the construction works, who will be offering a deal for the week to get people to buy local. The local paper, the Mercury Bay Informer, has also launched its Buy Local campaign this week.Leith Simpson, who owns Stirling Sports on the corner of Blacksmith Lane and Albert St, is taking the positive out of the upgrade, to come up with some creative ways to draw customers in.This week if you purchase something from Leith's Whitianga store you're in the draw to win a $100 Stirling Sports voucher. The deal closes Monday 16 April.Leith has owned the Whitianga Stirling Sports store for two and a half years, and also has a store in Thames. And he definitely fits the part as a sports store owner, as he's pretty active and is an avid swimmer, being a member of the Kuaotunu Open Water Swimmers, who hit the seas every Sunday, year-round, for a long-distance beach swim."I'm a local myself, having grown up in Kuaotunu as a kid before moving to Thames where I’m now based," says Mr Simpson."I'm really grateful for all the loyalty our customers are showing and want to say thanks for their support," says Mr Simpson. "Since the physical works began on the town centre upgrade we aren't as busy, but we expected this."When we visited Mr Simpson there was a steady stream of customers, both locals and tourists popping in to browse or buy."This time of year we're selling rugby boots, netball shoes and sports-branded hoodies," says Mr Simpson. But there are heaps of other products in-store including mouth-guards and sports tape, wetsuits, running and yoga gear, active wear, running and walking shoes, basketball, boogie boards and hats."They also sell Mercury Bay Area School uniforms.You can check out Whitianga Stirling Sports facebook page here or come and visit them at the RESCO building, 56-64 Albert St.Stirling Sports Whitianga is one of the stores that are affected by Stage One of the main street upgrade, which sees a section of the street closed to vehicle traffic until mid-July. All the stores are still open to pedestrians so please come and shop. What you need to know this week. We're removing the existing street lights within Stage One of the construction work area (from Monk St to Lee St).We're continuing service trench excavation on the eastern and western sides of Albert Street.We’re slightly extending the road closure to the corner of Blacksmith Lane. This will not affect pedestrian access.There will be excavation and installation of a 900mm storm water line from Taylors Mistake heading towards Monk Street.There will be on-site fabrication welding for a new 180mm potable water main.We're temporarily relocating 4 existing palm trees from Albert Street to Dempsey Wood Civil site compound on Taylor's Mistake. The care of the trees is being monitored by a contracted arborist.If customers with accessibility issues are trying to get to the doctor or chemist - park as close to the fences as you can. This gives you a 20m distance to get to either destination. Our contractors have been made aware of this and will try and help as much as they can.Fire and ambulance will be able to get through in an emergency, again with our contractors able to free up access quickly.For more information click here which will give you information on the next stages for the upgrade and other alternatives for parking away from the main street.But also please feel free to contact us 07 868 0200 if you would like more information or if you have any concerns. Informer newspaper - buy local campaign The local Mercury Bay Informer newspaper is running a “Buy Local and Win” competition. The aim is to support the local business community through a less than ideal time.To win is easy. Simply drop proof of your support of a Whitianga business (any business, not just those along Albert Street) into the large bin on the front verandah of their office in Monk Street, Whitianga. Proof can be in the form of an invoice or receipt. Please write your name and phone number on the invoice or receipt.On the last day of every month, they will draw one of the invoices/receipts out of all the entries they’ve receivedthat month. The owner of the winning invoice/receipt will receive a $100 voucher to spend at any of the advertisers that have advertised in The Informer during that month.The Informer will run the competition for eight months, until the end of November, when the Albert Street component of the Whitianga town centre upgrade is expected to be completed.But that’s not all. There will be a second chance to win. As soon as Albert Street is open for traffic again, all the entries they’ve received over the eight month period will go into another, final draw. The owner of the winning invoice/receipt will this time around receive $500 to spend at any of the businesses that have advertised in The Informer during the period Albert Street was closed for traffic.The more regularly you buy local, the better chance you have to win.