There were two big positives, and two big learnings from the inaugural shop local campaign run by Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council, say organisers.
Dubbed ‘Shop and Win’, the campaign aimed to celebrate Braidwood and Bungendore’s wide range of local businesses.
Separate campaigns were run in tandem across the two towns, with a wide range of local businesses competing. Those spending over $20 in a participating business received a ticket to enter in the prize draw. The major prize, drawn in December, was $8,000 to spend across local business.
Of the 80,000 tickets printed for Braidwood, 59,900 were entered in the draw. The average spend per ticket was $64.74.
Based on these statistics, the estimated spend in the Braidwood region was $3,877,926.
While these numbers are interesting, there is no real way of quantifying if the campaign brought additional money into the town, said QPRC Place Management Coordinator Tracey Lamont.
Feedback from local businesses has been critical in determining the success.
“Overall, I think it was pretty well received, I think it definitely created an awareness to shop local,” said Ms Lamont.
“It was great to see that all the prize winners thought really carefully about how to spend their money.”
Local business owners William Verdon and Kylie Dominick are not sure if they saw an increase in sales, but say they thought initiative was well run, and would participate in again.
“Being part of shop local was quite good,” Mr Verdon said. “I really couldn’t say if it helped in terms of sales at all… but I thought it was great anyway.”
If the initiative is funded to run again in 2018 there would be a few key changes, Ms Lamont said, including a more streamlined ticketing system.
Ultimately however, the venture was a success, raising awareness of the importance of shopping locally across both Braidwood and Bungendore, Ms Lamont said.
“It was really good,” she said. “Always [an] initiative that it’s the first time that you’ve done, it’s a big learning curve, and it would have been the same for any of the businesses that participated.”