Chamber urges shoppers to explore local stores
The Minto Chamber of Commerce is urging local shoppers to “Think Minto First!” and they’re putting money in their pockets to do it.
The new campaign, aimed at keeping dollars flowing through the local economy, is built around the Minto Bucks program. Minto Bucks, which are available at several local businesses, are sold at 90 cents on the dollar, leaving consumers with an extra 10 per cent to spend on their local shopping experience.
“A lot of people live in Minto and work somewhere else, or have any number of reasons for shopping outside the community. We’re asking them to think Minto first and do more of their shopping in town,” explains chamber president Glen Hall.
Hall said the idea grew out of the regular “Shopping Spree” promotions sponsored by the chamber each year. With dollars in hand to spend only in town, he notes, the winners were always pleasantly surprised by to learn how much really is available from local businesses.
“They’re all amazed at the range of products and services you can get in Minto. You don’t have to leave.”
Charging only 90 per cent of face value for the Minto Bucks, Hall says, overcomes the biggest objection consumers express about hometown shopping, compared to big box stores and outlets in larger centres – higher prices.
“Sure you might save 10 per cent if you go to the city,” but extra travel and other costs soon eat up those savings, he explains.
“With Minto Bucks, you can save 10 per cent every time you go shopping.”
To help drive home the Think Minto First! message, reusable shopping bags bearing the logo, as well as advertising for local businesses, were delivered to Minto homes last month. By sending out shopping bags as the Minto Bucks went on sale, Hall says the chamber encouraged everyone to participate in the Minto First, Buy Local Challenge.
“We have clear research that shows if every household in Minto redirected $100 of their spending to local businesses, the impact would be close to $1 million. I see no reason to stop at just $100 of extra spending in Minto. We have an amazing variety of products and services available here.”
Hall said the chamber, which recently incorporated in order to take advantage of grants from upper tier governments, received federal funds to help launch the program. Part of the funding, about $20,000 in total, is being used by the chamber to offset the 10 per cent discount, which makes the program cost-free to participating local businesses.
Grant funding has also allowed the chamber to create a temporary position for promotions co-ordinator Caitlin Hall, who has been working on introducing the program through the bag promotion, post cards and, of course, Minto Bucks.
Minto Bucks may be purchased at Harriston Home Hardware, What’s the Occasion/Norsco Sports in Palmerston and Larry Grummett Insurance (Clifford office). For a full list of locations participating in the program go to www.mintochamber.on.ca.