According to executive director, Tanya Chateauneuf, the Winkler & District Chamber of Commerce had a blast designing and launching their Stay & Play packages shop local initiative in fall of 2021.
“This gift card initiative was definitely a win-win for our community as a whole, because at the time, Winkler was struggling with negative media attention and a lack of consumer confidence. We wanted to inject funds into the local economy while boosting sales and creating ripple effects. So we applied for a shop local grant from MCC, and purchased $30,000 worth of gift cards from a variety of local and independent retailers.”
Chateauneuf says the team designed themed packages valued at $200 which they sold at a discounted rate of $100 each between mid-September and mid-October 2021. Perfect timing to use as holiday shopping dollars or to give as gifts!
“We figured that buyers who paid half-price for their packages would likely end up spending more than their gift card value, which they did. And we definitely appealed to all audiences with this program by creating packages that would be attractive to everyone — couples, families, single people, senior community members, athletes and entertainment seekers. We then transferred the $15K in funds we raised from the sale of the packages over to a media campaign, investing in radio, mobile signs, paper ads, and online paid ads.”
Even better yet, Chateauneuf says that through valuable partnerships with their regional media, they were able to take the $15K and create messages to promote kindness, love and caring in their community, ultimately turning it into $75,000 worth of in-kind value!
Recently the chamber conducted a Stay & Play Packages satisfaction survey among participating businesses:
- 100% saw value in the chamber initiating this program
- 100% had new customers visit their business
- 100% saw customers spend more than the gift card amount
On the customer side:
- 68% have used some of all of their stay & play packages
- 91% said the program encouraged them to get out and enjoy local again
- “Awesome!! Would be great to include more businesses if possible and make this an annual thing”
- “It’s a great idea to promote local businesses. Would definitely do it again. “
- “This was a great program!! I would definitely participate again if it came out again!!”
- “It was a great mini vacation for our family over the Christmas break. Thanks so much!”