Economic Development, Retail, and Small Business & Startups

Downtown shoppers enter for New Year’s Eve prize

December 10, 2013
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Holidays light up downtown
The Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority is spending $45,000 on holiday décor in downtown this year. Photo via flickr.com

It’s much more than small business Saturday. It’s more like small business December — at least for business owners downtown.

Downtown drawing

Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. wants to reward people who do their Christmas shopping with downtown merchants.

So shoppers who spend at least $100 with at least one retailer through Christmas Eve will be entered into a drawing to win a New Year’s Eve prize package.

“We want to encourage people to come downtown, so we looked for an opportunity to thank those who shop here,” said Kristopher Larson, DGRI president and CEO.

“Our downtown offers a distinctive and complete experience for shopping, dining and creating memories during the holidays, and, really, any other time of the year,” Larson added.

The New Year’s Eve package includes a night’s stay at the Amway Grand Plaza, entertainment and dinner.

All shoppers have to do to be entered for the drawing is take their receipts that total $100 to the DGRI ground-floor office, at 29 Pearl St. NW, by noon on Dec. 26. Receipts dated from Nov. 30 through Dec. 24 qualify.

There isn’t a limit to the number of entries for the New Year’s Eve prize package, so shoppers can turn in multiple ones that total $100.

DGRI will announce the winner on Dec. 26 at 4 p.m.

Local retail

It’s the first time in recent memory such a holiday promotion has been offered. Its purpose, of course, is to drive more business to downtown’s small businesses, most of which are locally owned.

“There are a lot of advantages to shopping locally, from keeping dollars in our community to discovering unique items,” said Elissa Hillary, executive director of Local First, a nonprofit that promotes locally owned shops.

“I think that this collaborative prize package reinforces the idea that stopping at local businesses can really connect you with entrepreneurs who invest directly in our downtown,” Hillary said. “For every dollar spent at a locally owned business, 73 percent more money stays within the community than if you shop at regional malls and chain stores.”

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