Minto’s Chamber of Commerce recently announced the winner of its shopping spree contest.
Speaking to councillors was Glen Hall, vice president of the Minto Chamber of Commerce.
He said the chamber would like to whole heartedly thank 34 participating members for getting involved. The participation means that it gave away over $1,500 in prizes to 35 winners. In the process it hoped to encourage more people to stop into local stores, experience even more of what Minto has to offer, and to promote businesses.
Hall said this is the second year the shopping spree has been offered. Last year the program kicked off late near Christmas and people entered online.
“This year, since we had more time to do it right, we started planning it in the middle of August.” He said people had to actually go into the stores to enter their ballots.
“I’m sure as you were shopping in Minto you saw these posters on 34 storefronts.
On Dec. 1, the chamber held its Christmas party at the Harriston Legion. To take part in the promotion of the shopping spree, each business participating had to provide a gift certificate worth $20 or more.
During the early bird draws, Hall said 34 were won.
The next printout offered a glimpse into the appearance and information on the Minto Chamber’s website. He noted that on Dec. 15, Minto Mayor David Anderson was at the Out To Lunch restaurant in Palmerston to draw the winner the shopping spree. It is Elizabeth Kuersten, of Minto.
He offered congratulations to Kuersten. She won $300 to go shopping in the town, as well as lunch, and she will be toured around in a vehicle provided by Harriston Motors.
Hall cited the drum used to make the draw and noted the ballots had yet to be counted.
“The plans are to count them, catalogue them, and identify where customers come from.”
He said each ballot included space for customers to write in what community they were from and which store they shopped in. When that work is done in the new year, Hall hopes the count will provide a good glimpse, “of where the heck everyone came from.”
That might help chamber members target marketing dollars in the future, Hall said.
“The last bit of the puzzle,” he said, was that the chamber had its elves in all three Christmas parades across Minto. It helped promote the shopping spree in all the communities.
“It was a very good event. This is just one of many things the chamber of commerce does. And we wanted to let council know what was happening in the business world from the chamber’s perspective.
“We hear a lot of negative things these days, but there are some good positive things especially here in Minto.”
Anderson thanked Hall for involving him in the chamber events. “I know your kickoff to the event, your wine and cheese in Harriston, was fantastic.”
Anderson said it was a great opportunity to network and he saw a couple of new businesses there. “I’m seeing more and more in attendance every year … so the interest is growing.”
Anderson said the growth of the chamber and its promotion of the community “doesn’t happen on its own. It takes a lot of dedication, by people like yourself and your executive.”
Even looking at the winning ballots, Anderson cited entries from Walkerton, Durham, Ayton, and Holland Centre.
“It getting the retailers enthusiastic about the downtown core. We look forward to many more great things from the chamber of commerce.”