Some chambers have a bit of a challenge when it comes to shop local campaigns, particularly when they have box store and chain members. But shop local campaigns can be an amazing way of uniting the community as well. Here are a few chambers with some fun campaigns:
Fun Shop Local Campaigns
Ideally, shop local should be a year-round push but some chambers run special campaigns to give periodic boosts to local merchants. These shorter campaigns strike a nice balance between helping out local small businesses and supporting the entire economic community.
“Shop Lokal” Cards
The McAlester Chamber of Commerce devised a shop local program to help retain sales tax revenue. The cards are $10 for the year and provide the owner with discounts to participating stores. Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer Jeff Warmuth, told the McAlester News Capital, “We want this to be about the community; it’s about the McAlester region. The purpose is we leak $60-80 million a year to other communities. What we are doing (by shopping in other communities) is investing $60-80 million in their communities instead of ours. The Shop Lokal program is about re-capturing some of that $60-80 million.”
Get Caught Shopping
The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce hosts a get caught shopping campaign for several weeks leading up to Christmas. Community members are urged to wear a button in support of shopping local. If they are “caught” around town wearing them (and shopping local), the chamber “elves” give them a gift card worth $25-$250.
Make it Fun
The Seattle Good Business Network created a three-year program designed to show the fun behind shopping local. They compiled hundreds of photos of people shopping local and visiting businesses. Both shoppers and businesses held up handmade signs. The Network also created a video and hosted numerous public events.
Some chambers also use local currency programs, passports, scavenger hunts, and Elf on the Shelf-type games and contests. Do you have an exciting and fun idea for a shop local campaign? Share it with other chamber professionals here.