‘Go Local’ program launches today
Starting today, residents will have an incentive to shop locally now that “Go Local” loyalty cards are available at more than 30 participating businesses.
All you have to do is drop by one of the businesses, fill out a form, and get a card for free.
As an introductory offer, $25 gift cards automatically will be issued once a balance of 300 reward points is achieved (his ratio may be changed at any time at the discretion of the “Go Local” business members and board).
As well, today through Saturday (March 6-9), certain businesses are offering limited-time special deals to get customers off and running with collecting “Go Local” loyalty card points, either by giving customers points just for visiting them or by purchasing special items in their stores.
You only can get one “Go Local” loyalty card, so it’s up to you which business you decide to sign up at. But in future, you can use the card at any participating one.
Points earned can be used in the future to get gift cards to redeem at participating businesses.
To find a list of participating businesses and what limited-time offers they are promoting, check out the full-page ad in today’s edition of the Times.
Participating business are eager to get going with “Go Local,” an initiative aimed at getting people to spend more dollars locally, for the benefit of businesses and, by extension, the whole community.
After all, local businesses not only contribute to the tax base, but create jobs, donate to causes, and sponsor sports teams and events.
“I think it’s a good idea to reward those customers that have been coming in over the years—just in a different way than a discount or giving them something of value,” said Blair Anderson of Betty’s, noting their limited-time incentive is spend $100, earn 100 points or spend $50 and earn 50 points.
He added he hopes “Go Local” makes people more aware of the benefits of shopping locally.
“You’ve got to support the community in all different ways,” Anderson stressed.
He also said “Go Local” is starting small, but he’d like to see more local businesses come aboard, as well as see it expand to the entire district.
Steve Gushulak, owner of Fort Frances General Supply, said he attended a presentation in October by Jessie Radies, founder of Live Local Alberta, and thought the idea looked interesting.
“It’s one of those programs that, without the support of the businesses, it was never going to fly,” he noted, adding he decided to get on board and help make it a reality.
“The cost to sign up didn’t seem all that out of hand for what we would be getting in return, and it was something unique that hadn’t been tried in the area,” Gushulak reasoned.
“It’s an exciting way to take part in a community program, to be part of something new,” echoed Connie Cuthbertson of Northwoods Gallery & Gifts.
“I think it’s got great possibilities,” she added, noting “Go Local” could help the entire local business community grow.
With the “Go Local” program just getting started, Cuthbertson conceded there will be a learning curve for
“But I think as time goes on, individual businesses will probably become more creative with the process and really maximize it all so the customers get the best bang for their buck,” she added.
Travis Green, of Green’s BrandSource Home Furnishings, agreed the program should help local businesses and, as a result, district communities.
“It’s a good opportunity to provide a customer rewards program that they can use throughout the local district, as opposed to other programs where it may be more spread throughout the country or even North America,” he noted.
“If you were to pick up Air Miles or Aeroplan or something along those lines, that’s dollars leaving the area whereas this is a rewards program that stays right in the community,” added Green.
“It’s not only helping businesses but even people in the district benefit from it.”
For more information, visit www.golocalfortfrances.com