Shop 716 is back and better than ever with another round of promotionals encouraging people to shop and support local. This initiative was originally born as a way to induce revenue and sales to businesses and restaurants due to the loss experienced during the covid-19 pandemic. Christine Langenfeld, Director of Operations and Marketing for the Amherst Chamber of Commerce shared with us a few insights into the origins of the initiative and what we can expect moving forward this year.
“Shop 716 was born last November and we’re going on just about a year now. Originally there was an Erie County Business Task Force that was put together to find ways for businesses to have COVID recovery. One of the things that came out of that task force and some of the subcommittees that were born from that bigger task force was that what businesses needed at that time was simply sales. They needed people to come out, shop and spend money in their restaurant or their retail location.”
As a way to combat this problem and stimulate sales for our local businesses, they created an eGift Card program that married the initiative with technology offered by an Amherst Chamber partner, Yiftee. Utilizing an eGift card reduces the use of plastic but still acts as a MasterCard and comes at no costs to merchants to participate.
“We launched the initiative at that time with, ‘buy a $25 Shop 716 e-gift card, get a free $25 e-gift card.’ Then for the week of Thanksgiving, we did ‘buy a $50, get a $50.’” Now, for a limited time only and while supplies last, Shop 716 is back with a stellar promotion just in time for the holiday season. Buy a $25 or more e-gift card and get a free $25 eGift Card in return, sponsored by Erie County and the Erie County Bicentennial, while supplies last (limit one per purchaser).
Within that first 7-week promotional period in 2020, the initiative injected a whopping $1.1 million into the local economy and Erie County. Even after the BOGO promotion ended last December, the e-gift card program lived on with the same goal to encourage people to shop and buy locally in order to support the economic viability of our community! Today, the program is almost $2M and the mission remains the same… SHOP LOCAL.
“When you have a strong, vibrant commerce system in your community, you have an overall healthy region. Small business is the backbone of the United States of America; without small business we wouldn’t have big business either. So, that really starts at the local level.”
Not only is shopping locally a positive for our local business owners that are our friends, family and active community members, but it is also environmentally friendly. By keeping anything produced in the Queen City here, you’re going to cut down exponentially on trucking and gas costs and in turn reduce harmful carbon emissions. With a list of over 700 merchants who are a part of this program, you are sure to find just about anything you need without logging into your Amazon account.
“You can use the Shop 716 eGift Card at many local restaurants, the Zoo Boutique, at the Botanical Gardens and even the Buffalo Philharmonic. So, there’s many different industries that are available through this list.”
“This is while supplies last, so don’t wait to get yours today! When the free gifts are gone the Shop 716 eGift Card program will always be there. It’s great for gifts. It’s even great to gift yourself!”
For more information visit https://amherst.org/shop716/ to get your eGift Card now and choose to support local this holiday season!