Local residents have the opportunity this season to support local merchants and economy while getting a chance to win a Christmas present of their own — a $1,499 high-definition television.
Fifteen Havre businesses are teaming up with the Havre Daily News in the shop locally promotion. Receipts from the participating businesses are redeemable at the Havre Daily office for chances to win the Toshiba 55-inch television, purchased by the Havre Daily for the Dec. 27 drawing.
“I think it’s a great program, ” said Brian Jenkins, owner of Hi-Line Radio Shack. “I think any time we can promote dollars being spent locally in Havre and also give away some cool prizes it’s a double bonus for everybody. ”
People entering the drawing can use purchases in a widely varied selection of merchandise. Radio Shack joined Bing N’ Bobs Sport Shop, Havre Ford, Western Trailer and Marine Sales, The Athelete’s Foot, Stromberg’s Sinclair and E-Fish-Hunt Sports, Red’s Auto Electric, Ben Franklin Crafts, Northern Home Essentials, Computer Center, Pro-Build, North Central Auto Parts, J.M. Donoven Designs in Fine Jewelry, Norman’s Ranch and Sportswear and Dollar Zone in participating in this year’s promotion.
Colleen Watson, the manager of Dollar Zone, said shopping at home makes sense anyway.
“As far as how the economy is, and the price of gas, why would you go anywhere else? ” she said.
She added that the local shoppers seem to be out buying for the holiday season.
“We’re doing really well, ” Watson said.
The shop locally event is intended to keep the focus on Havre.
In the promotion, people who shop at the participating merchants may bring their receipts in to the Havre Daily News between 8 a. m. and 5 p. m. through Dec. 24. For every $50 worth of merchandise on the receipt, the local resident receives one entry in the drawing, with a maximum of five entries per receipt.
Cecil Durbin, owner of Ben Franklin Crafts, said if the program shows itself to be successful, he would like to see it continue and more merchants join in.
“I think it’s important, ” he said, adding that a well-laid out and well-planned program could help with local shopping.
Advertising by the community, both for promotions and for the benefits of keeping dollars local, is vital, he said.
“We are inclined to do anything we can to get people to shop locally, ” Durbin said. “Part of that is having promotions, but I think a main part of that is having the merchandise people want on a daily basis and advertising that you have it. ”
Jenkins said a similar shop-locally program sponsored by the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce in 2007 showed people want to shop in their home community. In that event, receipts from participating merchants were redeemed for entries in a drawing, with the participants whose names were drawn winning a random selection of gift certificates from the participating merchants.
“What we found with the Chamber promotion was people did business with the people participating in the program, ” he said.
Jenkins said the promotion helps people find out about the additional service shoppers can find at local stores, rather than going out of town to shop at chain and big-box stores.
Part of the reason for the promotion is to continue keeping support of local businesses, which is one of the reasons the Havre area tends to be hit less when economic downturns like the recession of the last two years hit, he added.
“I think its a no-brainer to shop local anyway, so the people who support the community day in and day out with donations and sponsorships for little league, things like that, (receive the support of the community), ” he said. “It’s a win-win. ”