Manjimup businesses say they have been pleased with their level of trade through the busy holiday period. December and January are most active months of year in the retail, service and hospitality industries, with Christmas gift-giving in full swing and many people enjoying time off work. In the middle of his first experience with the holiday months, new Toyworld Manjimup owner John Durbin said Christmas sales were strong. “January is still quite busy because it’s the school holidays and kids are coming in with their Christmas cash,” he said. “It’s good to have lots of people wandering in and out.” Southern Belle Boutique owner Michelle Di Salvo said many locals were away at this time of year, but tourists had stepped up to fill the gap. “For the period between Christmas and New Year, it’s probably been the best trade since I’ve had the business,” she said. “We’ve had people from everywhere - Bunbury, Busselton, Perth, even up north. “We need people to shop local to keep the doors open.” Retail spending statistics have been sluggish as the nation struggles through a cost-of-living crisis, but retailers are split on its local impact. “The locals are reining it in a bit, they’re not spending as much on discretionary items,” Mrs Di Salvo said. “We’re pretty much equal with where we were last year, so I can’t complain about that,” Mr Durbin said.