By CLINT FOSTER
In a time when mega-stores and national franchises reign supreme, the Mineral Wells Chamber of Commerce actively encourages residents to shop locally, thereby bolstering the Mineral Wells economy and keeping money in the city.
One aspect of this crusade is the chamber’s “Shop Local and Win!” campaign, presented by Top Shelf Liquor and sponsored by Progressive Waste Solutions. The program is enjoying its fifth anniversary this Christmas season and is designed to promote local spending that benefits the entire community.
Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ryan Roach said the concept of the program is to promote the idea that Mineral Wells residents don’t need to travel east to get their Christmas shopping done.
“The idea is to promote our community to shop here locally with our businesses,” Roach said. “We want to promote small businesses and our local retail. Generally, you can get a lot of you shopping done here as opposed to going to Fort Worth or Weatherford.”
“Shop Local and Win!” employs a card-system, with cards found at the chamber and all of the 54 participating business locations. When a customer makes a purchase at a participation location, the clerk stamps the customer’s card for the value of that purchase.
Once a customer has $300 worth of stamps on a card, they can turn it in at the Chamber of Commerce, where drawing are done weekly to award a $25 gift certificate to any participating location for a loyal shopper.
The program, which began on Nov. 1 this year, will conclude with a party on Dec. 23 at 3 p.m. The party will feature Disney characters and Santa Claus, himself, in addition to more drawings at 4 p.m. for the adults to enjoy.
Prizes will include gift certificates of $1,500, $750 and $500 to be split up as the winner chooses among any of the participating “Shop Local and Win!” businesses.
The chamber also uses the initiative to honor one business each week, throughout the program, as the “Merchant of the Week.”
Powell Auto Center was the most recent winner, with Furr Building Materials, Texas Best Donuts and Brazos Market and Bistro also spending time as honorees this year.
Roach said his office is able to track the economic impact on the program as well.
He told the Index, as of Monday, the program had exceeded $400,000 in purchases with stamp cards.
He added their goal is to exceed $1 million in card purchases – a goal they have reached before. Such a sum would provide a significant boost to the local economy, keeping a large chunk of the people of Mineral Wells’ hard-earned money right at home.