The Ambleside Dundarave Business Improvement Association held its first ‘Holiday Passport Shop to Win’ and it was as much fun as it sounds. Customers “travelled” around Ambleside and Dundarave to shops and services, making purchases at different businesses.
For every purchase of any denomination made at one of more than the 50 participating businesses, customers earned a stamp in their passports. Once a shopper received eight stamps, each from a different business, they were eligible to enter to win one of three gift baskets worth over $2000, comprised of items from all of the participating businesses.
“We are passionate about encouraging people to shop in our villages,” explained ADBIA Executive Director, Maureen O’Brien. “Shop to Win was all about supporting local businesses, not to just put a dollar figure on how much was brought back into our local economy but by introducing shoppers to new businesses and encourage them to visit as many of our shops and services as possible.”
The Holiday Passport ran from December 1st to January 9th and saw over 100 passports submitted. “That meant in excess of 800 visits to our local businesses”, says O’Brien. “Considering this was our first year and that during the Passport campaign we faced two snowstorms, a king tide flood and a fifth wave of the pandemic, having the community support our businesses in this way exemplifies the commitment there is to our small businesses.”
While putting together the gift baskets, it was overwhelming to see the plethora of items available from businesses in Ambleside and Dundarave,” added Shannon Walker, Chair of the ADBIA. “You can get everything from food items to professional services, from clothing to jewellery, and from furniture to antiques. West Vancouver is really extraordinary in supporting our small businesses, but we wanted to do something to further encourage the community to support local and add in an extra incentive.”
Feedback from those that participated was overwhelmingly positive with comments such as “I wrote out my Christmas list and then looked at the list of participating businesses and found every gift I needed at one of our local businesses.”
Another entrant commented, “I discovered two bakeries and a butcher that I didn’t even know we had in our community!”
Hearing these comments and more like them was the icing on the cake for the ADBIA. “This was exactly our objective. Introduce our residents to businesses they didn’t know existed and encourage them to shop local.”, says O’Brien. “The three lucky winners of the gift baskets were drawn on January 21st and a video of the draw can be seen on our social media feeds.”