January 2017: Melissa Schwan

Our ‘holiday lights’ punch card program has wrapped up and it has showed us that shopping in Vinton is full of unlimited possibilities. This was only the 2nd year for the promotion and it again, exceeded our expectations.

I initially came across the idea sometime in the summer of 2015 and tacked it onto my idea bulletin board. Fall rolled around and I presented the idea to our Business Promotions committee. They thought it was interesting and worth a try. Fast forward to Christmas Eve 2015, the promotion ended with approximately 1,200 completed cards turned in. We were impressed! It seemed to go over so well that we included it in our budget for 2016 and made plans to improve and tweak the program a little bit.

Fast forward again to the fall of 2016, more businesses signed up to participate and we had a feeling shoppers were going to be excited. Each week I collected the completed cards and had a drawing for some Vinton Value Dollars. Each time I made the rounds to collect the cards, I became more and more excited as my collection can was getting fuller each time! The program again ended when the stores closed on Christmas Eve. I am happy to report we had approximately 2,170 completed cards turned in! We know some of those cards were collected on double punch weekends so it’s impossible to determine a completely accurate amount but with each card equaling $100 in purchases, you do the math! That’s a lot of shopping local! We wouldn’t have been able to reach this exciting amount if we didn’t have such a vibrant shopping district. Again, this goes to show shopping in Vinton is full of unlimited possibilities. A basketball, snowpants, a chainsaw – we have a little bit of almost everything available right here in Vinton.

I do have to note that only a fraction of businesses in Vinton participated – we know there was a lot more shopping going on in our other stores too and at our service businesses also.

Lisa Vogt, owner at Michael & Dowd Furniture and Appliances noted the program was “a success because of the wonderful people who came down and supported the local businesses. We wouldn’t, couldn’t do anything without that support. For that I am very grateful, thank you all for your support.”

“It was great to see so many shoppers take advantage of the Holiday Punch Card program. People were enjoying the great stores in Vinton and earning a chance to win one of the prizes each week” Teresa Meyer, Vinton Unlimited Board President noted.

For me, the high point of the program this year was that every single business that participated not only punched cards, but had full cards completed in their stores. I was able to collect full cards from every business!

I think it is a safe bet to say that we will continue this program again in 2017. Until then, thank you for shopping local! Cheers to a prosperous new year!

ICYMI, 2016 winners were:
Week 1 – Amanda Erickson
Week 2 – Randy Forsyth
Week 3 – Marcy Horst
Week 4 – Sarah Mathis
Week 5 – Barb Johnson
Grand prize – Deb Boddicker