By Laura Keil

McBride business owners are seeing the value in rewarding customers for shopping locally.

Twice the number of businesses are participating in the McBride Chamber of Commerce’s shop local program this year compared to last year.

Dannielle Allen, president of the McBride Chamber of Commerce, says it’s an incredibly popular program and allows businesses to have a first-hand look at how much people spend locally.

Allen says last year the program tallied $150,000 that was spent locally between the Festival of Lights in late November and the Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting mid-January.

“It’s a rewards card to reward people for doing something they already do anyway – we’re not trying to force people to shop locally,” Allen says.

Shoppers who spend $10 get one rewards point. When they collect 10 points, they can enter into a draw. This year, three lucky shoppers will win $250. The draw boxes are located at Scotiabank and the train station.

The draw will take place January 22nd at the Chamber of Commerce AGM at the E-Free church at 7pm.

The prize money is in Chamber bucks and can only spend in participating businesses. The business that receives the money can then redeem the fake money from the Chamber for real cash.

Allen says this is the third year of the shop local campaign in its present form. She says part of the success is due to businesses working hard to serve the community.

“Our businesses provide amazing service. We’re very fortunate in that. They will get whatever product you need in. it’s very much a community that works together.”