The Lacombe and District Chamber of Commerce is bringing their Passport to Christmas Campaign back to the City for the sixth straight year.
“It is a shop local holiday campaign to encourage residents to do their holiday shopping here in town,” Chamber Executive Director Monica Bartman said. “One of the side benefits that we didn’t necessarily plan for is being able at the end of the program to look back and share with the community the impact they made financially for businesses in Lacombe.”
Last year the program tracked more than $2.1 million in sales to over 64 businesses over a six week period. This year, Bartman hopes to surpass over $3 million in sales with the 73 participating businesses.
“We can say what residents contributed which draws attention to the fact that when we shop locally, it makes a hug impact on our local businesses,” she said.
The passport allows residents to enter into a draw to win up to $1,500 in Lacombe Shopping Bucks. Once completed, the passports can be dropped off at any of the participating retailers by Dec. 15th at 5 p.m.
Bartman said that by supporting small businesses, you are helping to support one of the biggest employers int he region and also supporting local culture.
“I think the atmosphere in a smaller community is a lot different than a big city,” Bartman said. “In a community like ours, you can support your community by shopping at local retailers or getting some of your services done from smaller companies where the owner is someone that maybe lives on your street or you encounter on a regular basis.
“It is a different experience than going into a big mall. It is going through a shop door and having the owner recognize you because you are part of the community.”
Bartman explained that by supporting small businesses, you can also spread the holiday spirit.
“It is nice during the holiday season,” she said. “You always want to give back during the holidays and this is way you can do it in a very tangible, dollars and cents way.”
Bartman also noted that the success of small businesses can attract entrepreneurs to Lacombe.
“It is part of creating a culture of support where you can get things here that are unique,” she said. “So if somebody who is thinking about opening a business sees that the community supports other small businesses, that would be an incentive or an encouragement for them to pursue that.”
Bartman added the Passport to Christmas campaign couldn’t be done without the help of Campaign Manager Helen Peck.