St. Charles residents can compete to win in Shop Local program

Winners will get reimbursed for purchases

Published: Saturday, May 25, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

ST. CHARLES – Beginning next month, St. Charles residents will get the chance to win a $100 shopping spree courtesy of the city.

The catch? Winners won’t receive cash. Instead, they will be reimbursed up to $100 for purchases made at three different independent stores or restaurants in St. Charles.

Economic Development Coordinator Michael Mertes said the Shop St. Charles Challenge was created by the Economic Development Department and will run through April 2014.

“The thought behind the program was a marketing opportunity for businesses and an opportunity to promote them at no cost to them,” he said.

There will be one winner each month, selected from a monthly drawing. The winners will have 30 days to patronize three St. Charles businesses in a different commercial corridor – downtown, east side and west side. It is free to enter.

The winners then will be asked to complete a written review or submit an interview about their experiences at each business, Mertes said. He said the reviews will be shared in such places as the city’s monthly newsletter and social media.

“We’re excited about the program,” Mertes said. “Who wouldn’t want $100 to shop in town?”

The program will be financed through the marketing and advertising budget, Mertes said. Unlike other marketing the city does, he said, this program is a way to put those advertising dollars back into the city. He referenced the 3/50 Project’s claim that for every $100 spent in independently owned stores, $68 returns to the community.

The first winner will be randomly selected in mid-June and notified by phone. Participants must live in the city of St. Charles, and certain restrictions apply.

Visit www.stcharlesil.gov/shop-local for more information, including a complete set of rules.