By Jackie Nelson
The Hesston Chamber of Commerce is kicking off the annual Save Your Receipts campaign for this year’s holiday season.
According to Hesston Chamber of Commerce Director Becky Galloway, local retailers depend on high holiday sales.
“The primary purpose of Save Your Receipts is a community reminder to shop local. Many retailers receive 50 percent or more of their total annual sales during the Christmas shopping season,” she said.
In addition, Galloway said local businesses are the primary supporters of Hesston events and charities.
“Local merchants are the main contributors to local schools, charitable causes and community events. By shopping local you are in essence helping the entire community,” she said.
The program, which promotes local shopping, tracks local buying and culminates in a drawing for Chamber Bucks.
There are five prizes. Grand prize is $250 in Chamber Buck$. There are also two runner-up prizes of $50 and two more of $25, for a total of $400 is prizes awarded.
For those participating, the kick-off for this year’s program starts soon.
All purchases between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31st are eligible. Participants have until January 10th to submit their receipts and have their tickets entered for the drawing.
For participants spending less than $20 per local purchase, Galloway said recipes may be combine to equal the $20 for a ticket.
Galloway reminded residents big-ticket items and every-day expenses are also a good way to earn tickets.
“There are businesses on the membership that list that might surprise people. One business is Excel. Need a mower for that special someone? Turn in your receipt. Stressed out over the holidays? Relax with a massage from Shiro Therapeutic Massage and earn a chance to win. Vision problem? How about some new glasses for the new year from Mid Kansas Eyecare and possibly a winning ticket?” said Galloway.
Save Your Receipts began in 2006 as a way to stimulate the local economy.
In 2011 one small change to include services in the Save Your Receipts program resulted in a marked increase in participation.
“There was a big increase in participation (both number of people participating and total dollar amount of receipts received) from . I would say about one-third of that increase can be attributed to services being included. Many people submitted receipts for medical services and hair salon visits. There was also a large receipt for carpet purchase and installation…the installation portion would not have been eligible in previous years,” said former Chamber Director Carlota Ponds.
The majority of Chamber members participate in the Save Your Receipts program by accepting Chamber BuckS.
Receipts from all businesses that participate in the Chamber Buck$ program are eligible for Save Your Receipts. Merchants become part of the promotion by agreeing to participate in the Chamber Buck$ program.
A listing of businesses can be found on the City of Hesston webpage under “Chamber of Commerce” and “Chamber of Commerce Membership List.”
Save Your Receipts has become a consistent event for Hesstonians, more people are taking part and timing large purchases to qualify for more tickets.
According to Hesston Record archives, in 2010, there were 1,428 tickets in the hopper. In 2011, there were 2,669 tickets entered.
With each ticket representing $20 spent locally, last year, Save Your Receipts racked in $53,380 worth of proven local spending.
Galloway said to continue to be accommodating for high-dollar local shoppers, she will make labels available.
“I’d also like to remind people that I will print labels for you if your purchases total more than $200 (10 tickets’ worth). Just give me a call in advance and they will be ready when you arrive. Return address labels work well also, but you’ll still need to write in your phone number,” she said.