Local Shop and Dine program, which runs through December 5, encourages residents to support local businesses | CraigDailyPress.com

Local Shop and Dine program, which runs through December 5, encourages residents to support local businesses

The City of Craig and the Chamber of Commerce are working together to help support local businesses with a cash back program, called Local Shop and Dine.

The program which runs until December 5 — or when the funding for the program runs out — is aimed at encouraging people to shop locally and keep their dollars in the Craig community.

The funding for the program is $15,000, which they are a third of the way through as of the writing of this article. As residents spend money in the community, they are eligible for up to $30 in reimbursement from the Chamber of Commerce. As well, if they spend $100, they then earn $10 in “spree dollars,” which is eligible at all local businesses.

Every individual, according to the program, can only receive up to $30 spree dollars.  The only products that are exempt from this program are, tobacco, gas, utilities and pharmaceuticals.  

The program, which has happened in various different forms since 2018, is hopeful to continue moving past this year, but is especially important this year in the current economic climate.

City of Craig Executive Assistant Melanie Kilpatrick talked about how people in the community can actually redeem the spree dollars and the reimbursements

“When you redeem your receipts you’ll need to take care of that at the Chamber of Commerce in the Yampa building,” Kilpatrick said.

Kilpatrick noted that people can turn in their receipts for take out and delivery from restaurants as well.

Brittany Young, the marketing coordinator and executive assistant for the Craig Chamber of Commerce, said that the mix of the cold weather and the rising cases will be tough for businesses, but she encouraged shoppers to utilize the only stores and pickup options for some Craig small businesses that have online stores.

She also encouraged people to reinvest in Craig restaurants and businesses with the holiday season on the horizon.

“I think it would be awesome, especially for people during the holiday time, to take them to more local businesses and to buy gifts for loved ones during the holidays and giving this money that was kind of like free money, taking it back and putting it into our small businesses as well,” Young said.

In regards to which businesses are participating in this cash back program, Young said, “anybody who does city sales tax, who charges city sales tax, their receipts will count for people to bring back in.” She also says that any place can take the spree dollars, including Walmart and City Market.

While it is too early to tell whether or not there has been a distinct, tangible impact on local businesses with this plan, Young said that she does hope that these $30 dollars in reimbursements continue to go into local businesses.

“Getting the receipts in and seeing them, especially from the local small businesses, is a super cool,” Young said. “I know people will spend money there anyways, so now when they are able to bring the receipts in and get something from it, it’s super cool. I guess, as of right now, I haven’t seen where those thirty dollars in money is going, but I do hope that it continues to back to support our local businesses.”

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