It was a very exciting holiday season for the as they rolled out one of their most ambitious programs in recent memory. Looking to help keep business in town during the holiday season the first Shop Local Campaign was launched.
The idea came in part from Chamber President Cory Wingerter, who owns on Route 9. According to a press release from the chamber the goal was "to raise awareness of the benefits of shopping local, increase traffic to local business and reward shoppers who shop locally."
In an effort to increase involvement in the campaign a contest was held allowing local residents to win prizes for their participation. The people who collected the most receipts and not the ones who spent the most money received the top three prizes.
Denise DeRiso was the top local shopper and got a prize package worth $750. Sue Dominguez, the Executive Director of the Chamber said DeRiso had collected more than 30 receipts from a variety of stores in town. Second place went to Denise Blevins and third place went to Janet Gutierrez. Blevins won $250 in gift cards and services from chamber members and Gutierrez won $100 in cards and services.
Wingerter said for its first run the program was a rousing success. "We were thrilled with the businesses that supported it in their donated gift certificates and services," he said. As an owner of a local business Wingerter said there was a lot of buzz from his customers about taking part in the keeping their shopping local. "It really drove the point home of the importance of shopping local and supporting local merchants," he said.
Now that they have started the Shop Howell program Wingerter said he would like to see it continue all through the year during these tough economic times. Plans are still in the works of how to accomplish that but he added that the contest would likely be limited to the holiday season.